S. G. & E. L. ELBERT
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N<? EATHABIM B. COMAH
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FRANCIS & 00. 'S
CHOICE PROSE AND POETRY.
L. MARIA CHILD.
AUTHOR OF "THE MOTHER'S BOOK ;" "LETTERS FROM NEW YORE,"
"FLOWERS FOR CHILDREN ;" ETC. ETC.
Yes, it's a Wearisome thing to be a wife.
When a good woman
Is fitly mated, she grows doubly good,
How good so e'er before.
A NEW EDITION, REVISED.
C. S. FRANCIS & CO., 252 BROADWAY,
J. H. FRANCIS, 128 WASHINGTON-STREET.
18 4 6.
Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1846,
BY C. S. FRANCIS & CO.
In the Clerk's Office of the District Court for the Southern District of New-York.
MTJNROE & FRANCIS,
Ackland, Lady .....
Anne, Queen ......
Arria, wife of Foetus
Biron, Lady, wife of Sir John Biron .
Blackwell, Mrs. .
Blake, Mrs. ......
Calphurnia, wife of Pliny
Chelonis, wife of Cleombrotus
Collingwood, Lady ....
Dorset, Countess of
Eleanor, Queen . .
Eponina, wife of Julius Sabinus
Fanshawe, Lady ....
Flaxman, Mrs. .....
Fletcher, Mrs. .....
Grotius, Mme. . . . . .
Howard, Mrs. .....
Huber, Mme. .....
Huntingdon, Countess of
Hutchinson, Mrs. .....
Johnson, Lady Arabella ....
Judson, Mrs. ......
Klopstock, Mme. ....
Lavater* Mme. . .
Mary, Queen .
Nithsdale, Countess of .
Oberlin, Mme. . •
Panthea, wife of Abradatas
Sybella, Duchess of Normandy
Yonder Wart, Baroness
iff ij i U 23 It
IS AFFECTIONATELY INSCRIBED,
BY ONE WHO, THROUGH EVERY VICISSITUDE,
IN HIS KINDNESS AND WORTH,
MOST CONSTANT INCENTIVES TO DUTY.
It was my original intention to have entitled this
volume, The Wives of Distinguished Men. But
great men have sometimes had bad wives ; and it
seemed undesirable to perpetuate the memory of
such. This decision was not influenced by any
wish to make women appear better than they re-
ally are ; but by the simple conviction that such
examples could produce no salutary effect.
Even the most ordinary writer has some influ-
ence on mankind, and is responsible to his God for
the use he makes of that influence. I may sin
against taste — I may be deficient in talent — but it
shall ever be my earnest endeavour to write
nothing, that can, even in its remotest tendency,
check the progress of good feelings and correct
I have been told that I did not moralize enough,
or explain my own opinions with sufficient fulness.
To this I can only answer, that I am describing
the minds of others, not my own. It seems to me
that the beauty of biography consists in simplicity,
clearness, and brevity. I wish to give faithful por-
traits of individuals, and leave my readers in free-
dom to analyze their expression.
It will doubtless be observed that there is not a
large proportion of American wives in this volume.
I can recollect many of my countrywomen, who
have discharged the duties of this important relation
ih a manner worthy of the highest praise. The
wife of Doctor Ramsay was intelligent and highly-
cultivated. She educated her children, fitted her
sons for college, and copied for her husband seve-
ral of his voluminous works. The companion of
the patriot Josiah Quincy, was an excellent and
noble-spirited woman, deservedly beloved by her
husband. "She entered with ardour into his politi-
cal course, submitted cheerfully to the privations it
induced, and encouraged him with all her influ-
ence to risk the perils, to which his open, undis-
guised zeal in the cause of his country, was thought
to expose him and his family." Mrs. John Adams
was a woman of dignified manners, kind feelings,
and powerful character; her influence over her
husband was so great, that he is said to have been
guided by her counsels, when he would listen to
no one else. But such cases as these furnish no
details for the biographer, or any one strong point,
on which to found a striking anecdote. I know
that good wives and excellent husbands abound in
every part of the Union ; but it must be remem-
bered that I could only give a sketch 6f those
whose virtues were in print ; and though there ex-
ists among us elements of female character, which,
in time of need, would become sublime virtues, our
national career has hitherto been too peaceful and
prosperovis to call them into action in a manner
likely to secure a place in history. Then it must
be allowed that we inherit a large share of English
reserve, added to that strong fear of ridicule, which
is the inevitable result of republican institutions ;
we are, therefore, rather shy of publicly expressing
our attachments in glowing terms ; in our distrust
of French exaggeration we approach the opposite
But since domestic love and virtue really have
an abode with us, it matters little whether the
world be informed of their full extent • it is our
business to cherish, not to display them.
The subject I have chosen, and the scenes on
which I have dwelt, with such obvious heartiness,
will lay me open to the charge of sentiment and
romance. It is true that 1 have something of what
the world calls by these names ; and I shall pro-
bably retain it as long as I live. I am more afraid
of believing too little, than of believing too much,
and have no inclination to sacrifice happiness to
philosophy. In a word, I like superstition better
than scepticism, and romance better than policy.
If this book convince one doubting individual
that there really is such a thing as constant, disin-
terested love, which misfortune cannot intimidate,
or time diminish ; — if it teach one mistaken votary
of ambition that marriage formed from conscien-
tious motives makes human life like a serene sky,
" where as fast as one constellation sets, another
rises;" — if it reveal to one thoughtless wife some
portion of the celestial beauty there is in a perfect
union of duty and inclination; — if it prevent one
young heart from becoming selfish and world-
worn ; — if it make one of the frivolous, or the pro-
fligate, believe in a holy affection, that purifies
those who indulge it, blesses them on earth, and
fits them to be angels in heaven — then it has not
been written in vain.
For the sake of national prosperity, as well as
individual happiness, we shall do well not to forget
There is one point of view, in which the pre-
valence of worldly ambition may affect our nation-
al character most powerfully. If women estimate
merit entirely by wealth, men will obtain money,
even at the risk of their souls : hence, dishonour-
able competition, and fraudulent cunning, and the
vile scramble for office, by which true freedom has
already become well nigh suffocated. Popular in-
stitutions, above all others, afford ample scope for
disinterested virtue ; but we must remember that
they likewise open the widest field for busy, in-
triguing selfishness; the amount of evil is always
in exact proportion to the degree of good which we
The actions and motives of each individual do,
more or less, affect the character and destinies of
his country. If, for the sake of temporary indul-
gence, we yield to what we know is wrong, we are
not only closing the avenues by which heaven
communicates with our own souls, but we are hast-
ening those mighty results, on which depend the
fate of governments.
Men may smile at these auguries — but just as
surely as effects follow causes, the preponderance
of selfish policy will destroy the republic ; for in.
this manner, ever since the beginning of time,
has glory passed away from the nations. Neither
the strength nor the subtil ty of man can prevail
against the justice of God.
Our mothers were help-mates indeed ; and so are
many of their daughters; but it is well to be on
our guard, lest the household virtues become
neglected and obsolete.
I shall be asked, with a smile, what I hope to do
to alter the current of public feeling, and change
the hue of national character? Truly, I expect
to do but little. My efforts remind me of a story
often repeated by a valued friend: " When I was
a small boy," says he, "I often plunged my little
hoe into a rushing and tumbling brook, on the bor-
ders of my father's farm, — thinking, in the child-
ish simplicity of my heart, that I could stop the
course of its impetuous waters."
Gentle reader, I have put my little garden-hoe
into a mighty stream — and perchance the current
will sweep it to oblivion.
WIFE OF JOHN GASPER LAVATER.
The celebrated John G. Lavater was pastor of St.
Peter's Church, in Zurich, Switzerland. He published
several volumes on religious subjects, and a great many
sermons. He had a remarkable facility in writing poetry ;
his verses were harmonious, unaffected, and often vigor-
ous. But his chief claim to distinction was his famous
essay on Physiognomy, which has been translated into
almost all languages. .Lavater was a most amiable and
pleasing enthusiast. He combined uncommon penetra-
tion with a simplicity of character, that amounted almost
to childlike credulity; and the overflowing kindness of
his disposition made him universally beloved. He was
born in 1741, and died in 1801, in consequence of a
wound from a French soldier, at the taking of Zurich.
His private journal will best describe his domestic happi-
" January 2d. My wife asked me, during dinner,
what sentiment I had chosen for the present day. I an-
swered, Henceforth, my dear, we will pray and read to-
gether in the morning, and choose a common sentiment
for the day. The sentiment I have chosen for this day
is : ' Give to him that asketh of thee, and from him
that would borrow of thee, turn not thou away.' ' Pray
how is this to be understood ?' said she. I replied, 4 Lite-
rally.' ' That is very strange indeed !' answered she. I
GOOD WIVE S.
said, with some warmth, < We at least must take it so,
my dear ; as we would do, if we had heard Jesus Christ
himself pronounce the words, " Give to him that asketh
of thee," says he, whose property all my possessions are.
I am the steward and not the proprietor of my fortune.'
My wife merely replied, that she would take it into con-
" I was just risen from dinner, when a widow desired
to speak with me ; I ordered her to be shown into my
study. ' My dear sir, I entreat you to excuse me,' said
she ; ' I must pay my house-rent, and I am six dollars
too short. I have been ill a whole month, and could
hardly keep my poor children from starving. I must
have the six dollars to-day or to-morrow. Pray hear me,
dear sir.' Here she took a small parcel out of her pock-
et, untied it, and said, l There is a book enchased with
silver; my husband gave it to me when I was betrothed.
It is all I can spare ; yet it will not be sufficient. I part
with it with reluctance, for I know not how I shall re-
deem it. My dear sir, can you assist me ?' I answered,
1 Good woman, I cannot assist you;' so saying, I put my
hand, accidentally or from habit, into my pocket ; I had
about two dollars and a half. ' That will not be suffi-
cient,' said I to myself; ' she must have the whole sum ;
and if it would do, I want it myself.' I asked if she had
no patron, or friend, who would assist her. She answer-
ed, ' No ; not a living soul ; and I will rather work
whole nights, than go from house to house. I have been
told you were a kind gentleman, [f you cannot help me,
I hope you will excuse me for giving you so much trou-
ble. I will try how I can extricate myself. God has
never yet forsaken me ; and I hope he will not begin to
turn away from me in my seventy-sixth year." My wife
MME. LAVATER. 19
entered the room. O thou traitorous heart ! I was angry
and ashamed. I should have been glad if I could have
sent her away under some pretext or other ; because my
conscience whispered to me, ' Give to him that asketh of
thee, and do not turn away from him who would borrow
of thee.'' My wife, too, whispered irresistibly in my ear.
' She is an honest, pious woman, and has certainly been
ill; do assist her, if you can.' Shame, joy, avarice, and
the desire of assisting her, struggled together in my
heart. I whispered, ' I have but two dollars by me, and
she wants six. I will give her something, and send her
away.' My wife, pressing my hand with an affectionate
smile, repeated aloud what my conscience had been
whispering, ' Give to him who asketh thee, and do not turn
aivay from him who would borrow of thee.' I asked her
archly, ' whether she would give her ring to enable me
to do it?" 'With great pleasure,' she replied, pulling
off her ring. The good old woman was too simple to
observe, or too modest to take advantage of the action.
When she was going, my wife asked her to wait a little
in the passage. ' Were you in earnest, my dear, when
you offered your ring ?" said I. ' Indeed I was,' she re-
plied : ' Do you think I would sport with charity ? Re-
member what you said to me a quarter of an hour ago.
I entreat you not to make an ostentation of the Gospel.
You have always been so benevolent. Why are you
now so backward to assist this poor woman ? Did you
not know there are six dollars in your bureau, and it will
be quarter day very soon ?' I pressed her to my heart,
saying, ' You are more righteous than I. Keep your
ring. I thank you.' I went to the bureau, and took the
six dollars. I was seized with horror because I had said,
* I cannot assist you.' The good woman at first thought
20 GOOD WIVES,
it was only a small contribution. When she saw that it
was more, she kissed my hand, and could not, at first,
utter a word. i How shall I thank you !' she exclaimed :
1 Did you understand me ? I have nothing but this book ;
and it is old.' ' Keep the book and the money,' said I
hastily ; and thank God, not me. I do not deserve your
thanks, because I so long hesitated to help you.' I shut
the door after her, and was so much ashamed that I
could hardly look at my wife. ( My dear,' said she,
' make yourself easy ; you have yielded to my wishes.
While I wear a golden ring, (and you know 1 have sev-
eral) you need not tell a fellow creature in distress that
you cannot assist him.' I folded her to my heart, and
January 23d, 1769. ' My servant asked me after din-
ner, whether she should sweep my room. I said, ' Yes ;
but you must not touch my books or papers.' I did not
speak with the mild accent of a good heart. A secret
uneasiness, and fear that it would occasion me vexation,
had taken possession of me. When she had been gone
some time, I said to my wife, ' I am afraid she will
cause some confusion up stairs.' In a few moments my
wife, with the best intentions, stole out of the room, and
told the servant to be careful. ' Is my room not swept
yet !' I exclaimed, at the bottom of the stairs. Without
waiting for an answer, I ran up into my room ; as I en-
tered, the girl overturned an inkstand, which was stand-
ing on the shelf. She was much terrified ; I called out
harshly, ' What a stupid beast you are. Have I not po-
sitively told you to be careful ?' My wife slowly and
timidly followed me up stairs. Instead of being ashamed,
my anger broke out anew. I took no notice of her ; run-
ning to the table, lamenting and moaning, as if the most
MME. LAVATER. 21
important writings had been spoiled ; though in reality
the ink had touched nothing but a blank sheet, and some
blotting paper. The servant watched an opportunity to
steal away, and my wife approached me with timid gen-
tleness. ' My dear husband !' said she. I stared at
her, with vexation in my looks. She embraced me — I
wanted to get out of her way. Her face rested on my
cheek for a few moments — at last, with unspeakable ten-
derness, she said, i You will hurt your health, my dear.'
I now began to be ashamed. I was silent, and at last
began to weep. ' What a miserable slave to my temper
I am ! I dare not lift up my eyes. I cannot rid myself
of the dominion of that sinful passion.' My wife re-
plied, * Consider, my dear, how many days and weeks
pass away, without your being overcome by anger. Let
us pray together.' I knelt down beside her; and she
prayed so naturally, so fervently, and so much to the pur-
pose, that I thanked God sincerely for that hour, and for
November, 1772. " My dear wife is still very ill ; she
is however a lamb in patience and goodness ; full of tran-
quillity of mind, and without self-will, reposing in the lap
of heavenly love."
January, 1773. " I awoke a little before seven o'clock,
and addressed myself to the paternal goodness of God.
I heard the voice of my dear wife, went to her, and we
blessed each other with the tenderest, sweetest, and most
innocent affection, discoursing on the fate which, almost
to certainty, will befall us the present year."
January 6tk. " A bottle was overturned and broken
to pieces. A tranquil, gentle, smiling look from my wife,
restrained my rising anger."
January 12th. " No one can be more averse to the ap-
22 GOOD WIVES.
plication of the rod than I am myself. I have never chas-
tised my son myself; fearing I should do it with too much
passion, I have always left his punishment to my more
gentle wife. My child has the best of hearts, yet he
sometimes needs the rod. The advice to leave children
to the bad consequences of their actions looks very
specious on paper ; but whoever has the care of children
will know that, among a thousand cases, this is scarcely
possible in one instance. For instance, it is impossible
always to remove scissors and penknives from the table ;
and if it were possible, I would not do it. External cir-
cumstances shall not accommodate themselves to my
children ; on the contrary my children must learn to ac-
commodate themselves to circumstances. They shall not
learn not to touch a penknife where there is none ; but
they must learn not to touch one where there are ten.
If my child disobey me, I give him a slap on the hand ;
which, however hard it may be, is, after all, less than the
least hurt he might receive by handling the penknife. I
would gladly leave him to the consequences of his disobe-
dience, but what if he should put out an eye, or disable
a hand ! I lately found a razor full of notches, and was
going to put myself in a passion ; but I pacified myself
instantly. I asked, in a serious tone, ' My son, have you
had this razor V ' Yes, papa.' — I have nothing more at
heart than that my child should never tell lies ; I there-
fore said, * I shall not punish you this time, because you
have readily told me the truth.' Children will certainly
never tell lies except from fear of punishment. "
January 12th. " I spoke with my wife of our children.
I said ' I have a presentiment that they will not grow old,
though they are in general very healthy. ' It gave me
great satisfaction to hear her reply, with much resigna-
MME. LAVATER. 23
tion, * The will of the Lord be done. Thank God ! they
have not been created in vain. They are our children,
aid the children of their Heavenly Father, whether they
live or die."
January \&th. " When I was called to breakfast, the
beautiful group, which had assembled almost moved me
to tears. My dear wife was in the bed ; little Henry at
her left hand, and Nannette on her foot-stool upon two
chairs before the bed. She was giving them their soup.
I took a pencil, and sketched that family scene on paper.
My wife said, smiling, ' You forget one person that be-
longs to the group, and is sharing our pleasure.' My
joy was complete. God bless you, darlings of my heart,
God bless you ! I tried to imprint this scene indelibly
on my mind. Such things are so extremely sweet in re-
January 30th. " My dear wife was not well. Only
a god-like patience could bear what she endures. My
little Nannette shouted when I entered the room. The
little, innocent, lovely child ! I was obliged to struggle
against my wish to take her, lest I should lose time. I
wrote a little while, but could resist no longer. I took
her up and carried her to her mother and brother. Some
trifles vexed me. My wife observed it, and silently gave
me her hand. ' I will be good,' said I, with a filial voice ;
and my serenity returned."
June 3d. " ..My wife waked me, saying, < It is seven
years to-day since we were married.' I told her it should
be celebrated by a little festival for the children.
" Some things that detained me in the morning, tempt-
ed me to grow impatient, because I wanted to have a lit-
tle pleasure with my family. At length, I was at liberty
to do so. We went to the apartment where my wife and
24 GOOD WIVES.
I had first knelt together in prayer ; we recalled to mem-
ory all the particulars of our wedding day, running over
the seven years which, notwithstanding all our trials, we
had spent so happily. We related to our boy how r we
had been united, and he listened with much interest,
which filled our hearts with pleasure. We gathered all
the flowers we could find, strewing some of them on the
lap of Nannette, whom I pushed forward in her little car-
riage, while Henry, whose hair I adorned with the rest,
was drawing the vehicle. Their precious mother looked
on with pleasure. I ordered Henry to be dressed in his
Sunday garments, and read to him a little song, which,
notwithstanding I had composed it in a great hurry, drew
a pearly tear of joy from his mother's eyes. I left the
happy circle with reluctance."
MRS. LUCY HUTCHINSON,
WIFE OF COLONEL HUTCHINSON.
Mrs. Lucy Hutchinson was the daughter of Sir Allen
Apsley, Lieutenant of the Tower of London, during the
reign of Charles the First. In the memoir of her hus-
band she praises highly the integrity, benevolence, and
mutual affection of her parents. Among many instances
of their kindness, she tells us, " When Sir Walter Ra-
leigh and Mr. Ruthin were prisoners in the Tower, my
mother suffered them to make rare experiments in chem-
istry at her cost ; partly to comfort and divert the poor
prisoners, and partly to gain the knowledge of their ex-
periments, and the medicines, to help such poor people as
were nqt able to procure physicians. By these means
she acquired a great deal of skill, which was profitable to
many all her life. To all the prisoners that came into
the Tower, she was as a mother. If any were sick, she
visited and took care of them, and made them broths and
restoratives with her own hands."
Her father had a very decided dislike for those gay
young gentlemen, who merely know how to court the
ladies, and study the fashion of their dress ; he consid-
ered usefulness and learning as the true tests of respecta-
bility. From these intelligent, judicious, and thoroughly
well-bred parents, Lucy Apsley probably derived the
sedate, and somewhat matronly character, by which she
was early distinguished. As her mother had several
26 GOOD WIVES,
sons, and earnestly desired to have a daughter, her birth
was an event of great joy ; and the natural fondness in-
spired by the helpless little innocent was increased by the
superstitious nurse, who pronounced her to be too deli-
cate and beautiful to live. Something of additional im-
portance was likewise ascribed to her, because previous
to her birth her mother dreamed that a star descended
from the heavens and rested in her hand. She was in-
deed lovely and remarkably intelligent, and her parents
spared no pains in cultivating the intellectual faculties,
with which she was endowed. As her nurse was a
Frenchwoman, she learned to speak French and English
at the same time. At four years old, she read perfectly
well ; and her memory was so great, that she could re-
peat almost exactly the sermons she heard. At seven
years of age, she had eight tutors, in languages, music,
dancing, writing, and needlework ; but study was the only
thing she really loved ; and she pursued it with a degree
of eagerness, that threatened to be prejudicial to her
health. In Latin, she outstripped her brothers, although
they were very clever, and exceedingly industrious. For
female employments and elegant accomplishments, she
had less taste than her mother wished ; and she held the
usual sports of children in great contempt. She says,
" When I was obliged to entertain such children as came
to visit me, I tired them with more grave instructions
than their mothers, and plucked all their babies to pieces,
and kept them in such awe, that they were glad when I
entertained myself with older company." From her
mother's instructions she derived strong religious feelings
and principles, which continued with her through life.
When very young, this miniature woman used to employ
a portion of every Sabbath in exhorting the domestics
MRS. LUCY HUTCHINSON. 27
of the family upon serious subjects. It seems, however,
that she was not entirely destitute of the feelings and
habits usually observable in youth ; for she says, " I was
not at that time convinced of the vanity of much conver-
sation not scandalously wicked ; I thought it no sin to
learn or hear witty songs, amorous poems and twenty
other things of that kind ; wherein I was so apt, that I
became a confidant in all the loves that were managed
by my mother's young women." She even alludes to an
unequal, but transient attachment, as among the "extra-
vagances of her youth. "
Colonel John Hutchinson, whom this young lady after-
ward majried, was the son of Sir Thomas Hutchinson,
and Lady Margaret, daughter of Sir John Biron of New-
stead, one of tfie ancestors of Lord Byron. He is repre-
sented as a gentleman of graceful person, highly cultiva-
ted mind, and very prepossessing manners ; and as he
was the eldest surviving son of his father, he was a match
alike desirable to mothers and daughters. He passed
through the usual routine of education prescribed for gen-
tlemen of that period, and was distinguished for his lite-
rary attainments, his skill in active and graceful exerci-
ses, and his very correct taste in music. Soon after he
left the university, he determined to travel in France ;
and as some delay occurred in forming the necessary ar-
rangements, he was advised to make a short visit to
Richmond, where the prince at that time held his court.
Crowds of gay company were, of course F attracted to the
place, and a young gentleman of Mr. Hutchinson's pre-
tensions received abundant attentions from the wealthy,
the witty, and the beautiful. It chanced that Sir Allen
Apsley had a daughter placed at Richmond, for the pur-
pose of acquiring skill in music This child was born
28 GOOD WIVES.
five years after her serious sister Lucy, and being of an
active and playful disposition, was the general favourite
of the family. Mr* Hutchinson took particular delight
in her sprightly conversation and lively music. The lit-
tle girl had the keys of her mother's house, which was
about half a mile distant, and once or twice, when she
had occasion to go there, she asked Mr. Hutchinson to
accompany her. One day, while he was there, he found
a few Latin books on an old shelf, and when he asked
whose they were, he was informed that they belonged to
her elder sister, who was about to be married, and had
gone into Wiltshire with her mother, in order to complete
some necessary arrangements. Mr. Hutchinson had a
contempt for frivolous conversation and unmeaning gal-
lantry, and the ladies thought him rathe* indifferent to
their charms. But it so happened that his curiosity was
greatly excited concerning Miss Lucy Apsley ; and the
more questions he asked, the more he regretted that he
had never seen her, and that she had gone away on such
an errand. The ladies of her acquaintance told him how
very studious and reserved she was ; adding several an-
ecdotes, which they thought would redound to her disad-
vantage ; but Mr. Hutchinson had a great respect for
good sense and information in women, and the stories
they told produced a different effect from what they in-
tended. He lost no opportunity of talking about the lady ;
and began to wonder at himself that his heart, which had
heretofore kept so cool, should now be so much interested
in a stranger. His wife, speaking of this circumstance
in his memoir, says, " Certainly it was of the Lord, who
had ordained him, through so many providences, to be
yoked with her in whom he found so much satisfaction."
One day, when there was a great deal of company at
MRS. LUCY HUTCHINSON. 29
the house, some one sung a song, which was much ad-
mired. A gentleman present observed it was written by
.a lady in the neighbourhood. Mr. Hutchinson, " fancy-
ing something of rationality in the sonnet, beyond the
customary reach of a she-wit, said he could scarcely be-
lieve it was a woman's." The gentleman asserted that
the verses were written by Miss Lucy Apsley ; and being
a great admirer of the author, he was very enthusiastic
in her praises. Upon this, Mr. Hutchinson said, " I can-
not rest until this lady returns. I must be acquainted
with her." His informant replied, " You must not ex-
pect that, sir. She will not be acquainted with gentle-
men. However this song may have stolen forth, she is
extremely unwilling to have her perfections known. She
lives only in the enjoyment of herself, and has not the
humanity to communicate that happiness to any of our
The information of this reserved humour pleased Mr.
Hutchinson more than all he had heard ; and his thoughts
became completely occupied with the hopes of seeing her.
At last, news was brought that Mrs. Apsley and her
daughter would return in a few days. The messenger
had some bride laces in his pocket, and, for the sake of
fun, he allowed the company to suppose the young lady
was married. Mr. Hutchinson became very pale, and
was obliged to leave the room. He began to think there
was some magic in the place, which enchanted men out
of their right senses. His affectionate biographer says,
" But it booted him not to be angry at himself, or to set
wisdom in her reproving chair, or reason in her throne
of council; the sick heart could not be chid, or advised
The next day it was ascertained that the tidings of her
30 GOOD WIVES.
marriage was a mere hoax ; and as soon as she arrived,
Mr. Hutchinson, under the pretence of escorting her lit-
tle sister, went to her father's house, and obtained a sight
of the being who had so much occupied his thoughts.
Judging from the engraved portrait of Mrs. Hutchinson,
she must have been eminently beautiful. At all events,
the eager lover was not disappointed in her appearance ;
and she, at first sight, was " surprised with an unusual
liking in her soul for a gentleman, whose countenance
and graceful mien promised an extraordinary person."
At their first interview, there was something of mel-
ancholy negligence about her ; for her parents, displeased
that she had refused several advantageous offers, had
urged her to a marriage for which her heart had no in-
clination. From a sense of duty, she tried to bring her
feelings to their wishes ; but was finally obliged to con-
fess that she could not, without destruction to her happi-
ness. Mr. Hutchinson, being informed of these circum-
stances, and finding her willing.to encourage his acquaint-
ance, believed that the same secret power had given them
a mutual inclination for each other. He visited her
father's house daily ; and she was often his companion in
the pleasant walks proposed by the family in the sweet
spring season, then advancing.
The ladies were a little piqued at Mr. Hutchinson's
preference. With the usual petulance of narrow minds,
they ridiculed those high qualities, which they could not
comprehend, and magnified such little defects as were
nearer on a level with their own habits of thought ; her
neglect of ornament in her dress, and her love of study
were the constant themes of their animadversion. Mr.
Hutchinson smiled, and sometimes mixed a little good-
natured sarcasm with his answers. He was successful
in his love, and was therefore too happy to be angry.
MRS. LUCY HUTCHINSON. 31
His wife says, " I shall pass by all the little armorous
relations, which if I would take pains to relate, would
make a true history of a more handsome management of
fove than the best romances describe ; but these are to be
forgotten as the vanities of youth, not worthy to be men-
tioned among the greater transactions of his life." It is
only to be recorded that never was passion more ardent,
and less idolatrous. He loved her better than his life,
with inexpressible tenderness and kindness; and had a most
high, obliging esteem for her ; yet still considered honour,
religion, and virtue, above her ; nor ever suffered the
intrusion of such a dotage, as should blind him to her
imperfections : these he looked upon with such an indul-
gent eye, as did not abate his love and esteem for her,
while it augmented his care to blot out all those spots,
which might make her appear less worthy of the respect
he paid her ; and thus indeed he soon made her more
equal to him than he found her.
It was not her face that he loved ; her virtues were his
mistress ; and these, like Pygmalion's statue, were of his
own making ; for he polished and gave form to what he
found with all the roughness of the quarry about it ; but
meeting with a compliant subject for his own wise gov-
ernment, he found as much satisfaction as he gave, and
never had occasion to number his marriage among his
infelicities. The day that the friends, on both sides, met
to conclude the marriage, she fell ill of the small pox ;
her life was in desperate hazard, and for a long time the
disease made her the most deformed person that could be
seen ; yet he was nothing troubled about it, but married
her as soon as she was able to quit the chamber ; when
the priest and all that saw her were affrighted to look on
her; but God recompensed his justice and constancy by
32 GOOD WIVES,
her entire recovery. One thing is worthy of imitation in
him ; though he had as strong an affection for her as
ever man had, he did not declare it, till he had first
acquainted his father ; and after that he would make no
engagement but what his love and honour bound him in ;
wherein he was more firm, than all the oaths in the
world could have made him, notwithstanding many pow-
erful temptations of wealth and beauty; for his father
before he knew his son's inclinations, had concluded
another treaty for him, much more advantageous to his
family, and worthy of his liking. The parent was as
honourably indulgent to his affection, as the son was strict
in the observance of his duty ; and at length, after about
fourteen months' various exercise of his mind in the pur-
suit of his love, the thing was accomplished, to the full
content of all : on the third day of July, he was married
to Miss Lucy Apsley, at St. Andrew's Church, in Hol-
borne." He was twenty-three years of age, and she was
For two years after this union, Mr. Hutchinson enjoy-
ed the dignified retirement of an English country-gentle-
man ; and as religious controversy at the time interested
the whole nation, the study of theology was largely min-
gled with his literary pursuits.
At first they resided about ten miles from London, to
which Mrs. Hutchinson's habits and early associations
rendered her extremely attached. But their two oldest
sons were twins ; and as the family increased rapidly, it
was deemed expedient to remove to a cheaper part of the
country. They therefore retired to his estate in Ovvthorpe,
Here they had not long remained before the discord of
civil war which had long been heard in the distance,
MRS. LUCY HUTCHINSON. 33
sounded its fearful alarm through the land. The dread-
ful massacres of Ireland in 1641 aroused Mr. Hutchinson
to the state of public affairs. He entered warmly into
the disputes existing between the King and Parliament;
but while he zealously maintained the pretensions of the
latter, he had an earnest desire that bloodshed should be
avoided, if possible. Public opinion in England was
then strongly, not to say fiercely, directed against popery.
Mr. Hutchinson's first manifestation of party spirit was
to persuade the clergyman to deface the images, and break
the painted windows of the parish church, in obedience to
the orders of Parliament. His next step was to prevent
ammunition from being carried out of the comity for the
use of the king; and he conducted this affair with a de-
gree of firmness, moderation, and courtesy, not a little
remarkable in an enthusiastic partisan about twenty-five
Such open demonstration of his political opinions, of
course, made him an object of suspicion to the Eoyalists,
and various attempts were made to seize his person.
When the parliament collected forces under the command
of Lord Essex, he joined the army ; and having resolved
to defend the town and castle of Nottingham against the
King's troops, he was chosen governor of that place. His
wife followed him, sharing all his counsels and his' dan-
The preservation of Nottingham was of great impor-
tance to the Parliament; for if the enemy had possessed
themselves of it, all communication between the northern
and southern parts of the kingdom would have been cut off.
The undertaking was hazardous ; for the inhabitants of the
town were more than half favourable to the royal cause ; the
Parliamentry army was too distant to give prompt relief
34 GOOD WIVES.
in case of necessity ; and the half ruined castle was badly
fortified, and worse provided, for a siege. Mrs. Hutch-
inson says, " Nothing but an invincible courage, and a
passionate zeal for the interests of God and his country,
could have engaged my husband in a work of so much
difficulty. His superior officer contented himself with
the name of authority, and left Mr. Hutchinson to order
all things; the glory of which he hoped to assume, if
they succeeded, and if they failed, he thought to throw
the blame upon him who contrived them. Mr. Hutchin-
son knew all this ; yet he was so well persuaded that
God called him to undertake a defence for this place, that
he cast by all other considerations, and cheerfully re-
signed his interests and his life to God's disposal ; though
in all human probability he was more likely to lose, than
to save them."
Besides the unavoidable perils of his situation, Colonel
Hutchinson had to contend with the various feuds and
petty dissensions constantly arising among the officers ;
the insolence, cunning, and hatred of the royalists in the
town; and the obstinate fanaticism of his own party, who
were " so pragmatical, that no act, and scarcely a word,
could pass without being strictly arraigned and judged at
the bar of every common soldier's discretion, and there-
after censured and exclaimed at."
Though Colonel Hutchinson may seem, to readers of the
present day, quite rigid enough in his opinions, he could
not go to all the lengths, which some of his austere com-
panions considered necessary for sound doctrine ; and
there was a noble frankness in his nature, that forbade
hypocritical compliance with absurd opinions, or unim-
" Among other affected habits of the Puritans, few of
MRS. LUCY HUTCHINSON. 35
them wore hair long enough to cover their ears, and
many cut it very close around their heads, with so many
little peaks, as Was something ridiculous to behold. From
this circumstance, the name of Roundhead was scornfully
given to the whole Parliament party. It was very ill
applied to Mr. Hutchinson, who had a fine head of curl-
ing hair, and wore it in a becoming manner. The godly
of those days would not allow him to be religious, be-
cause his hair was not in their cut, or his words in their
phrase. Many of them were weak enough to esteem
such insignificant circumstances as of more consequence
than solid wisdom, piety, and courage, which brought
real aid, and honour to their party. But as Mr. Hutchin-
son chose not them, but the God they served, and the
truth they defended, their weakness, ingratitude, and
censures, with which he was abundantly exercised all his
life, never tempted him to forsake them in anything
wherein they adhered to just and honourable principles."
In addition to the difficulties with which Mrs. Hutch-
inson was surrounded, it happened, amid the inevitable
horrors of civil war, that her brother, Sir Allen Apsley,
commanded a troop of horse in the king's service, and
was frequently on duty in the same part of the country
where her husband was fighting for the Parliament. It
is, however, to the honour of the English people, that this
civil contest was carried on for years with few instances
of personal violence.
The Puritan Colonel lived on very cordial terms with
his Cavalier brother-in-law. Protected by mutual passes,
they often visited each other, and exchanged various
civilities, without any attempt on either side, to persuade
the other from the performance of what he considered his
36 GOOD WIVES.
During this trying period, when her husband was en-
dangered by treachery within the castle, and warfare
without, Mrs. Hutchinson behaved most admirably. Shut
up with him in the garrison, she enlivened him by her
cheerful fortitude, soothed him with her tenderness, and
assisted him by her advice. Her heroism and energy
encouraged the troops; and she herself attended upon the
sick and dressed the wounds of the sufferers, both cap-
tives and conquerors.
Her eldest daughter died in Nottingham Castle ; being
a weakly child, in consequence of the fatigue and anxiety
her mother had undergone.
In the description of this ancient castle there are some
particulars, which possess historical interest. " It was
built upon a high rock, overlooking the chief streets of
the town. Nature had made it capable of very strong
fortification, but the buildings were ruinous and uninhab-
itable. Upon the top of all the rock was a strong tower,
which they called the Old Tower. This was the placed
where Queen Isabel, mother of Edward the Third, was
surprised with her paramour Mortimer ; who, by secret
windings and hollows in the rock, came up into her
chamber from the meadows below. At the entrance of
this rock was a spring, which is called Mortimer's well,
and the cavern, Mortimer's hole.
" Behind the castle, was a place called the Park ; but
then it had neither deer nor trees, except one, which was
almost a prodigy ; for from the root to the top there was
not one straight twig or branch ; some said it was planted
by Eichard the Third, and resembled him that set it.
" There were many large caverns, in which a great
magazine and hundreds of soldiers might have been dis-
posed, and kept secure from any danger of firing the pow-
MRS. LUCY HUTCHINSON. 37
der by mortar-pieces shot against the castle. In one of
these places, it is said that David, a Scotch king, was
kept in cruel durance, and with his nails scratched on the
walls the history of Christ, and his twelve apostles."
Sir Richard Biron, the relative of Col. Hutchinson,
sent a messenger to persuade him to leave Nottingham,
on the plea that holding out a castle against his king was
rebellion of so high a nature, that no favour could be ex-
pected, however earnestly his friends among the royalists
might urge it; but that if he would return to obedience,
he might not only save his forfeited estates, but have
whatever reward he pleased to propose : to w r hich Col-
onel Hutchinson replied that " he had too much Biron
blood in his heart to betray or quit a trust he had under-
taken ; and that he scorned to sell his faith for base re-
wards, or the fear of losing his estate, which his wife was
quite as willing as himself to part with."
Colonel Hutchinson remained in this garrison until the
close of the war ; at which time his health and strength
were much impaired by the hardships to which he had
been exposed. On arriving at his deserted house in
Owthorpe, he found it in a most ruinous and desolate sit-
uation ; the neighbouring garrisons having robbed it of
everything that could be carried away ; and the debts he
had incurred in the service of the public, deprived him of
the power of making necessary repairs. This state of
things was peculiarly uncomfortable, because he was at
that time afflicted with the gout, and often unable to leave
his chamber for weeks. His wife says : " Here we had
a notable example of the victorious power of his soul over
his body. One day, when he was in the saddest torture
of his disease, certain soldiers came and insolently de-
manded money and provisions in the town. He sent for
38 GOOD WIVES.
them and told them he would not suffer such wrong to be
done to his tenants. Seeing him in a weak condition,
they became saucy, and told him he had no longer a right
to command them. Being heartily angry, he felt not
that he was sick, but started out of his chair, and beat
them from the house and the town ; and returned laugh-
ing at the wretched fellows and himself, wondering what
was become of his pain. But it was not half an hour
before the vigour which his spirits had lent his frame, re-
tired to its noble palace the heart ; this violent effort
made his limbs more weak than before, and his suffering
returned with such violence, that we thought he would
have died in this fit."
Colonel Hutchinson was returned to parliament for the
town, which he had so bravely defended. He was after-
wards appointed a member of the High Court of Justice,
for the trial of the King ; and, after long hesitation, con-
curred in the sentence of condemnation against the un-
fortunate Charles the First.
He always disliked the character of Cromwell, and
considered his government as an unjust usurpation ; yet
he had the magnanimity to make known to the Protec-
tor's friends a plot, which had been laid for his assassin-
ation. Cromwell expressed abundant gratitude for this
generosity, and tried every means to tempt the regicide
officer into his service. Colonel Hutchinson told him
frankly that he did not like any of his measures, and be-
lieved they were all tending to the destruction of the coun-
try. Cromwell seemed not at all offended with this plain-
ness, but, with tears in his eyes, complained that others
had urged him on to rash and violent acts, alike incon-
sistent with his own wishes, and the liberties of the peo-
ple. But notwithstanding this appearance of friendship
MRS. LUCY HUTCHINSON. 39
and candour, Cromwell secretly feared and disliked the
man, who had so boldly reproved his tyranny at the very
,time that he saved his life ; and he was making prepara-
tions to arrest him, when " death confined his vast ambi-
tion to the narrow compass of a grave."
Daring the administration of the Protector, Colonel
Hutchinson lived in almost unbroken retirement at
Owthorpe. He spent his time in gardening, superintend-
ing the education of his children, administering justice
among his neighbours, and in making a choice collection
of pointing and sculpture ; in forming this cabinet, he
purchased several articles belonging to the late unfortu-
nate king, who had been a most liberal patron of litera-
ture and the arts.
After the death of Cromwell, Colonel Hutchinson was
again elected member of parliament. The people, find-
ing a military tyrant no better than an hereditary one,
were then becoming zealous for the restoration of the
royal family ; and of course those who voted for the death
of the late king were placed in a condition of some peril.
Colonel Hutchinson met the emergency of the times with
a more firm and manly spirit than most of his associates.
When the subject was debated in the house, he said,
" That for his actings in those days, if he had erred, it
was the inexperience of his age, and the defect of his
judgment, not the malice of his heart ; that he had ever
preferred the general advantage of his country to his own ;
and if the sacrifice of him could conduce to the public
peace and settlement, he freely submitted his life and for-
tunes to their disposal : that the great debts he had incur-
red in public employments proved that avarice had not
urged him on, and gave him just cause to repent that he
ever forsook his own blessed quiet to embark in such a
40 GOOD WIVES.
troubled sea, where he had made shipwreck of all things
but a good conscience. "
In order to quiet the anxiety of Mrs. Hutchinson, he
assured her that no one would lose or suffer by the ex-
pected change of government. But this assurance failed
to tranquillize her fears. She said she could not live to
see him a prisoner. She persuaded him to leave his own
house for a place where he could more readily make his
escape. His friends advised him to give himself up,
thinking he might by that means save his estates ; but
she declared herself ready to endure poverty in its worst
forms, rather than trust him to the generosity of his poli-
tical enemies ; and she urged this point with such ear-
nest entreaty, that he promised to do nothing without her
consent. For the first and only time in her life, she ven-
tured to disobey him ; she wrote a letter in his name to
the speaker of the house. The letter was favourably re-
ceived ; 'this encouraged his friends, who were present,
and they spoke so kindly and effectually in his favour,
that his punishment was limited to a discharge from
parliament, and from all offices civil and military for-
After this decision, he returned to Owthorpe, where he
spent nearly a year in the enjoyment of his quiet and
But Charles the Second was not disposed to trust the
loyalty of those who had beheaded his father. Colonel
Hutchinson was at last seized, upon suspicion of being
concerned in a treasonable plot, and was conveyed by an
\eA o- nrd to London. His wife, with her oldest son
and d luehter, accompanied him. " Mrs. Hutchinson
was exceedingly sad, but he encouraged and kindly chid
her out of it, and told her it would blemish his innocence
MRS. LUCY HUTCHINSON. 41
for her to appear afflicted ; that if she had but patience
to wait the event, she would see it was all for the best,
and bade her be thankful that she was permitted to ac-
company him ; and with diverse excellent exhortations
cheered her, who could not be wholly abandoned to sor-
row while he was with her."
The prisoner was committed to the Tower, and
treated with great harshness. The chamber he occupied
is said to have been the same where Edward the Fifth
and his little brother were murdered by the command of
Richard. The room leading to it was large and dark,
without windows, where the portcullis of one of the in-
ward gates was drawn up and let down, and under which
a guard was placed every night. There was a tradition
that the Duke of Clarence was here drowned in a butt of
malmsey. This part of the building was called the
Bloody Tower. The door by which these two rooms
communicated with each other was not allowed to stand
open during the night, although Colonel Hutchinson and
his servant were suffering under a very painful disease,
occasioned by bad diet, and a comfortless residence.
For several weeks his wife was not permitted to visit
him ; but she would not rest until her earnest prayers,
aided by the powerful intercession of her brother, were
granted. It was her wish to take lodgings in the Tower ;
but this was refused. She was obliged, in the depth of
winter, to walk from her residence every day to dinner,
and back again at night.
This was a forlorn kind of existence ; but the Colonel
endured it with perfect content and cheerfulness. " When
no other recreations were left him, he diverted himself
with sorting and shading the shells, which his wife and
daughter gathered for him ; with these he was as much
42 GOOD WIVES.
pleased as with the richest engraved agates and onyxes,
wherein he had formerly great delight, when he recre-
ated himself from more serious studies. His fancy
showed itself so excellent in arranging and dressing
these shells, that none of us could imitate it, and the
cockles began to be admired by several persons that saw
them. These were but his trifling diversions ; his busi-
ness and continual study was the Scripture, which the
more he conversed in the more it delighted him ; inso-
much that his wife having brought some books to enter-
tain him in his solitude, he thanked her, and told her
that if he should continue in prison as long as he lived,
he would read nothing but the Bible. His wife bore all
her own toils joyfully for the love of him, but could not
be otherwise than very sad at the sight of his undeserved
sufferings. He would very sweetly and kindly chide
her for it ; and tell her if she were but cheerful, he
should think this suffering the happiest thing that ever
befel him. He would also bid her rejoice that the Lord
supported him ; and remind her how much more intole-
rable it would have been, if the Lord had allowed his
spirits to sink, or his patience to fail under this. One
day when she was weeping, after he had said many
things to comfort her, he gave her reasons why she
should be assured that the cause would revive, because
the interest of God was so much involved in it. She
said, " I do not doubt the cause will revive ; but notwith-
standing your fortitude, I know this will conquer the
weakness of your constitution, and you will die in
prison." He replied, " 1 think I shall not ; but if I do,
my blood will be so innocent, that I shall advance the
cause more by my death than I could by all the actions
of my life."
MRS. LUCY HUTCHINSON. 43
Although no formal accusation was ever brought
against Colonel Hutchinson, and no evidence specified
as the ground of his detention, he was imprisoned in the
Tower ten months. His energetic and affectionate wife
laboured without ceasing for his deliverance : and his
oppressors often found themselves embarrassed and con-
founded by her eloquent arguments. But the most ur-
gent solicitations, aided by all the powerful intercession
she could procure, were of no avail.
He was suddenly removed from the Tower to San-
down Castle, in Kent ; where he was confined in a very
damp unwholesome apartment, with another prisoner of
the most vulgar and brutal manners. Even this, he en-
dured with meekness and magnanimity, conversing with
his wife and daughter " with as pleasant and contented a
spirit as ever in his whole life." When she told him she
feared they had placed him on the sea-shore in order to
transport him to Tangier, he answered, " and if they
should, there is the same God at Tangier as at Ow-
thorpe. Prithee, trust me with God ; if he carry me
away, he" will bring me back again."
The damp apartment in which Colonel Hutchinson
was confined brought on illness ; but the sufferings of
the body, as well as the mind, he endured with the same
strong humility. His wife watched over him with the
most devoted, self-forgetting love. Sir Allen Apsley, at
last, obtained permission for him to walk on the beach a
certain time every day ; but this indulgence came too
late to renovate his strength.
Toward the close of the year, Mrs. Hutchinson was
obliged to go to Owthorpe, to bring away the children
she had left there, and to obtain necessary supplies for
her husband. " She left with a very sad heart, dreading
44 GOOD WIVES.
that while he lay so ready on the sea-coast, he might be
shipped away to some barbarous place during her ab-
sence. He comforted her all he could, and the morning
she went away, he said, " Now I myself begin to be
loath to part." Yet he encouraged her with his usual
cheerfulness, and sent his son along with her. At the
time of her departure he seemed very well, and was so
confident of seeing Owthorpe again, that he gave her di-
rections concerning planting trees, and many other things
belonging to the house and gardens. A few days after,
he returned from his walk on the sea-beach with his
daughter, and complained of a shivering and pain in his
bones. So long as he was able to sit up, he read much
in the Bible ; and on looking over some notes on the
Epistle to the Romans, he said, ' When my wife returns,
I will no more observe their cross humours ; but when her
children are all near, I will have her in the chamber with
me, and they shall not pluck her out of my arms. Dur-
ing the winter evenings she shall collect together the ob-
servations I have made on this Epistle since I have been
in prison.' "
As he grew worse, the doctor feared delirium, and ad-
vised his brother and daughter not to defer anything they
wished to say to him. Being informed of his condition,
he replied with much composure, " The will of the Lord
be done ; I am ready." He then gave directions con-
cerning the disposal of his fortune, and left strict injunc-
tions that his children should be guided in all things by
their mother ; " And tell her," said he, " that as she is
above other women, so must she on this occasion show
herself a good Christian, and above the pitch of ordinary
While he was speaking to them, his pulse grew very
MRS. HUTCHINSON. 45
low; yet lie said to the physician, " I would fain know
your reason for thinking I am dying. My head is well ;
my heart is well; I have no pain or sickness anywhere."
The doctor, much amazed, answered that he should be
glad to find himself deceived. Soon after, his mouth be-
came convulsed, and he spoke no more ; except when
some one iu the room mentioned his wife, he said, " Alas,
how she will be grieved !" Then, with a sigh, his spirit
departed, leaving his countenance as calm and happy as
it had looked in the pleasantest moments of his life.
He died on the 11th of September, 1664, in the forty-
ninth year of his age ; after eleven months of severe
imprisonment. The body, according to his request, was
buried at Owthorpe. As the funeral procession moved
on, the people were much affected, considering him the
victim of injustice and oppression. In one town only
were any insults offered by the political enemies of the
Four sons and four daughters survived him ; and for
their edification Mrs. Hutchinson wrote the memoir of
her husband, which has since been published by their
descendants. The book might with propriety be called
the History of Her Own Times ; for it is in fact a very
philosophical view of the state of parties in England at
that period, and of the causes which produced them. In
her brief sketches of public men she evinces singular
discrimination and clearness of mind ; and considering
how dearly her best affections were united with the inter-
ests of one party, her candour and impartiality are re-
markable ; but so large a portion of the work is occupied
with details of the petty feuds and factions of the day,
that, as a whole, it can be interesting to but few, even of
46 GOOD WIVES.
Her husband is always mentioned with romantic ten-
derness, and deep sensibility. She evidently loved him
with her whole soul ; and when he was gone, she was a
An address to her children forms an introduction to the
Memoir ; in which she thus writes : " I who am under
a command not to grieve at the common rate of desolate
women, while I am studying which way to moderate my
woe, and, if it were possible, to augment my love, can find
out none more just to your dear father, or more consoling
to myself, than the preservation of his memory ; which
I need not gild with such flattering commendations as
the hired preachers equally give to the truly and the no-
minally honourable ; an undrest narrative, speaking the
simple truth of him, will deck him with more substantial
glory, than all the panegyrics the best pens could ever
consecrate to the virtues of the best men. To number
his virtues is to give the epitome of his life, which was
nothing else but a progress from one degree of virtue to
another. His example was more instructive than the
best rules of the moralists ; for his practice was of a
more divine extraction, drawn from the Word of God,
and wrought up by the assistance of his spirit. He had
a noble method of government, whether in civil, military,
or domestic administrations ; which forced love and re-
verence even from unwilling subjects, and greatly en-
deared him to the souls of those who rejoiced to be go-
verned by him. He had a native majesty that struck
awe into the hearts of men, and a sweet greatness that
commanded love. He was naturally attached to the mi-
litary employment, for he understood it well, and it suit-
ed the activity of his temper. Never was a man more
loved or reverenced by those that were under him. He
MRS. HUTCHINSON. 47
was very liberal to them, but ever chose just times and
occasions to exercise it. I cannot say whether he were
more truly magnanimous, or less proud. He never dis-
dained the meanest person, or flattered the greatest.
Wherever he saw wisdom, learning, or other virtues in
man, he honoured them highly ; but he never blindly
gave himself up to the conduct of any master. He had
a sweet courtesy toward the poor, and often employed
many spare hours with the common soldiers and labour-
ers, but so ordered his familiarity that it never decreased
respect.- He took pleasure in wit and mirth, but that
which was mixed with impurity he never could endure.
Of all falsehood he most hated hypocrisy in religion ;
either to comply with changing governments or persons,
without a real persuasion of conscience, or to practise
holy things for the sake of interest, or the applause of
men. He never professed friendship where he had it
not, or disguised aversion, or hatred, which indeed he
never had toward any party, or person, but only to their
sins. At the same time that he conquered an enemy, he
cast away all ill-will, and entertained only thoughts of
compassion and love. He that was a rock to all assaults
of might and violence, was the gentlest easy soul to
kindness, that the least warm spark of that melted him
into anything that was not sinful. He was as dutiful a
son, as dear a brother, as affectionate a father, as good a
master, and as faithful a friend, as the world ever had ;
yet in all these relations he had no indulgence for vice
or folly pertinaciously pursued ; but the more dear any
person was to him, the more he was offended at anything
that might diminish the lustre of their glory.
"His affection for his wife was such, that whoever
would form rules of kindness, honour, and religion, to be
49 GOOD W1VE9.
practised in that state, need no more, but exactly draw out
his example. Man never had a greater passion or a more
honourable esteem for woman ; yet he was not uxorious,
and never remitted that just rule which it was her honour
to obey ; but he managed the reins of government with
such prudence and affection, that she who would not de-
light in such honourable and advantageous subjection,
must have wanted a reasonable soul. He governed by
persuasion, which he never employed but in things
profitable to herself. He loved her soul better than her
countenance ; yet even for her person he had a constant
affection, exceeding the common temporary passion of fond
fools. If he esteemed her at a higher rate than she
deserved, he was himself the author of the virtue he
doated on ; for she was but a faithful mirror, reflecting
truly, though dimly, his own glories upon him. The
greatest excellence she had was the power of apprehend-
ing, and the virtue of loving, his. All she had, was
derived from him. A likeness that followed him every-
where, till he was taken to the regions of Jight, and now
she is but at best his pale shade. So liberal was he to
her, and of so generous a temper, that he hated the men-
tion of severed purses. His estate was so much at her
disposal that he never would receive an account of any-
thing she expended When she ceased to be young and
lovely, he showed her the most tenderness. He loved her
at such a kind and generous rate as words cannot express :
yet even this, which was the highest love any man could
have, was bounded by a superior feeling; he regarded
her not as his idol, but as his fellow-creature in the Lord,
and proved that such an affection far exceeds all the
irregular passions in the world.
" The heat of his youth inclined him to anger, and the
MRS. HUTCHINSON. 49
goodness of his nature made him prone to love and grief;
but his soul ever reigned king upon the internal throne,
and was never taken captive by his senses : religion and
reason, its two favoured counsellors, took order that all
the passions kept within just bounds, there did him good,
and furthered the public weal."
The debts Colonel Hutchinson had incurred in the
public service, left his excellent widow in very straitened
circumstances. The estate at Owthorpe was sold to a
younger branch of her husband's family, who happened
to be in favour with the triumphant royalists. Mrs.
Hutchinson lived to see some of her children married,
and survived two of them. The precise period of her
death is not mentioned. One of their decendants emi-
grated to America. I do not know whether any of his
posterity now survive in this country. The family of
Apsley merged in the noble family of Bathurst, who re-
tain the name of Apsley as their second title.
Mrs. Hutchinson was possessed of talent and learning
that would have given her a high reputation in any age,
and which were very extraordinary in a lady of that
period ; yet she performed all the duties of a woman in a
most exemplary manner. The Edinburgh Review pays
the following tribute to her memory: "Education is
certainly far more generally diffused in our days, and
accomplishments infinitely more common ; but the perusal
of this volume has taught us to doubt whether the better
sort of women were not fashioned of old, by a purer and
more exalted standard ; and whether the most eminent
female of the present day would not appear to disadvan-
tage by the side of Mrs. Hutchinson. There is something
in the domestic virtue and calm commanding mind of this
English matron, that makes the Corinnes and Heloises
50 GOOD WIVES,
appear very insignificant. We may safely venture to
assert that a nation which produces many such wives and
mothers as Mrs. Lucy Hutchinson, must be both great and
WIFE OF SIR JOHN BIRON.
There is a singular story told concerning the grand
parents of Colonel Hutchinson. His maternal grand-
father was not the eldest son of Sir John Biron. There
was an elder brother who had displeased his father so
much by an obscure marriage, that he intended to divide
his estate equally between his sons. The younger son
married the daughter of Lord Fitzwilliam, who had en-
joyed a princely office during the reign of Queen Eliza-
beth. This lady was endowed with rare beauty and
great accomplishments ; and her husband was exceedingly
enamoured of her. But noble-minded and intelligent as
she was, she had one great weakness — she could not
endure that a woman very inferior to herself should be
the wife of the elder son, while she was wedded to the
younger. This source of discontent was removed by a
sad accident. One day the brothers went out to hunt
with their father ; and the elder, being of a merry disposi-
tion, commanded something to be put under his servant's
saddle, to frighten the horse, and make sport. The joke
succeeded so well that the author of it died in a passion
The marriage which gave so much offence had proved
childless ; and the younger brother of course inherited
the estates and titles of the family,
52 GOOD WIVES,
The high-born beauty was now in the very zenith of
her wishes, and blest with a lovely family. But it
pleased Divine Providence suddenly to eclipse her glory.
At the birth of twin daughters her brilliant intellect was
obscured forever ! The best physicians in England tried
in vain to restore her understanding. She was never
frantic ; but had a pretty poetical delirium, often more
delightful than the conversation of women, who had per-
fect use of their senses. Her husband relinquished all
business and all amusements, and devoted his whole time
to her, and to the education of their children. After the
loss of her reason, she had other children ; but they were
not affected by their mother's unfortunate condition.
Though Lady Biron's mind was distempered in all
other respects, she retained perfect love and docility to
her husband ; and he treated her with more tenderness
and respect than he had done even during the first years
of their happy union. Thus in the constancy of mutual
affection they advanced toward old age.
When she was ill, he slept in a separate bed in the
same chamber, while two women took turns in watching
It was his custom, the moment he unclosed his eyes, to
ask how she did. One night, when he was in a very
deep sleep, she departed from this life. He was to have
gone a hunting that morning, the exercise being recom-
mended for his health ; and it was his habit to have the
chaplain pray with him bef6re he went out. The nurses,
knowing how much he loved his wife, were afraid to tell
him of her death; and they begged the chaplain to
inform him of it, in the gentlest manner he could. Sir
John did not that morning, according to his usual custom
inquire how his lady did. He called the chaplain, joined
LADY BIRON. 53
with him in prayer, and expired in the midst of the holy
service. The husband and wife were laid side by side,
and buried in the same grave. It was never known
whether he had discovered his loss, and his heart had
broken at the separation from one he loved so dearly, or
whether a strange sympathy of nature had produced this
affecting coincidence. But so it happened, that God in
his mercy took them at once from a world, whose bitterest
portion is a widowed heart.
WIFE 0FREV. JOHN FLETCHER.
The Rev. John Fletcher, Vicar of Madely, in Eng-
land, is well known among the disciples of Wesley, as
9. man of great zeal, piety and gentleness, whose efforts
in the cause of religion were much blessed.
The lady he married was named Mary Bosanquet.
Her parents were highly respectable and wealthy, and
she of course was surrounded by the pleasures and fasci-
nations of the world. But in early childhood she was
much under the influence of a domestic, who had been
converted by Methodist preaching; and from her she re-
ceived impressions which she never afterward lost ; im-
pressions that gave a colouring to the whole of her future
life. When seven years old, she says, " I thought if I
became a Methodist, I should be sure of salvation ; and
determined if I ever could get to that people, whatever it
cost me, I would be one of them. But after a few con-
versations, and hearing my sister read some little books
which this servant had given to her, I found out, it was
not the being joined to any people that would save me,
but I must be converted, and have faith in Christ ; that I
was to be saved by believing ; and that believing would
make me holy, and give me a power to love and serve
God. The servant left our family, and my sister and I
continued like blind persons groping our way in the dark;
though we had so far discerned the truth as to express it
MRS. FLETCHER. 55
in the above manner, I could not comprehend it. My
heart rose against the idea at being saved by a faith, which
I could not understand. One day looking over the pic-
tures in the Book of Martyrs, I thought it would be easier
to be burned than to believe ; and heartily did I wish that
the Papists would come and burn me, and then I thought
I should be quite safe."
The death of her grandfather and grandmother, when
she was about thirteen years of age, tended to increase
the seriousness of her youthful character. She sajrs,
" My honoured grandfather was one of the excellent of
the earth. In his last illness he delighted much in these
words, ' My sheep hear my voice ; I know them, and
they follow me.' He was aged seventy-nine, and had
lived with my grandmother forty-five years, in a union
not usually to be met with. He was plain in his dress,
and strictly conscientious in all his expenses. When
many dishes were on his table, he scarcely ate of anything
but mutton, and that for many years, because he believ-
ed it most conducive to his health. His love and charity
to the poor were uncommon. He esteemed it a reproach
to any man to say he died very rich ; adding, ' It is too
plain a mark he has not made a good use of his income.'
One day a gentleman, who was by him upon the Ex-
change, said to another, ' Sir John, I give you joy ; they
tell me you have completed your hundred thousand
pounds.' The other replied, i I hope to double it before
I die.' My grandfather, turning round quickly, said,
' Then, Sir John, you are not worthy of it.'
"My grandmother was a woman of an uncommonly
sweet temper; and having acquired a good deal of skill
in physic, she so helped the poor, that they looked on her
as a mother, a nurse, and a counsellor. When my grand-
56 GOOD WIVES,
father had been dead three months, she dreamed that he
came to her one night, and standing by the bed-side told
her that ' she should come to him shortly ; till then his
happiness was not so complete as it would be ;' and added
' Study the Scriptures — study the Scriptures ; in them,
ye think ye have eternal life.' She always had a vene-
ration for the Word of God ; but from that time she ap-
plied to it daily, in a manner superior to what she had
done before. About three weeks after, she said to us,
' Air that room ; I will go into it, that I may die in the
bed where my husband died.' She came out no more ;
for she expired within the week."
The parents of Mary Bosanquet, having removed all
Methodist books, and dismissed the above-mentioned do-
mestic, thought her religious impressions had worn off.
But when the mind is earnestly intent upon any one
object, it will find means, even under the most adverse
circumstances, to gratify its ruling inclination. She and
her elder sister, unknown to their parents, contrived to
keep up an intimacy with several of Mr. Wesley's fol-
lowers ; and when her sister married, and removed from
her, these connexions still continued.
The consequences were inevitable. What are called
the pleasures of society were at variance with her ideas
of religious duty, and she was unable to discover how
she could at the same time serve God and the world.
She begged leave not to accompany the family to the
theatre, because she could not conscientiously partake of
such amusements ; and when her father told her that
" her arguments proved too much ; since, according to
her doctrines, all places of diversion, all dress, all parties
— indeed the whole spirit of the world, was sinful," she
replied, " I believe it to be so ; and am therefore deter-
MRS. FLETCHER. 57
mined to be no more conformed to its customs, fashions,
This, of course, opened the door for many domestic
trials. Her father reasoned, her mother grieved, and her
acquaintance sneered. Sometimes she yielded to the
temptations around her, and was enticed by the world ;
but these states of mind were usually followed by de-
pression, arising from a sense of her own weakness,
This brought on fresh reproaches ; her melancholy was
said to be occasioned by her strange ideas of religion ;
and if she were visited by illness, it was attributed to
the same cause.
She loved her father very tenderly, and therefore it
was peculiarly painful to her to oppose him. Obedience
to God seemed to her to be at variance . with obedience to
her parents ; and she was continually perplexed to know
how far she ought to conform to them, and how far she
ought to resist.
When she was about seventeen years of age, she be-
came acquainted with a gentleman, who professed great
affection for her. Her religious friends advised her to
think of him, as he was likely to be very acceptable to her
parents, and would enable her to enjoy more liberty than
she could have under her parental roof. She was per-
plexed by these counsels, and sometimes tempted; but
she soon became convinced that her affections were not
sufficiently interested ; and all thoughts of him were
swallowed up in a renewed ardour of piety. Her mother
sometimes expressed the opinion that Mary had better be
removed from the family, lest her example should influ-
ence her younger brothers, and thus, as she supposed,
ruin their worldly prospects. Even her father, who was
more calm and considerate, wished to exact from her a
58 GOOD WIVES.
promise that she would never in any way, attempt to
make her brothers what she considered a Christian ; she
replied, " I dare not promise that." Her father then inti-
mated it was best for her to remove from home ; saying,
with some emotion, " I do not know that you ever dis-
obliged me wilfully in your life, but only in these fan-
cies." Her mother approved of her resolution to take
lodgings, and assisted her in the necessary arrangements.
She says, " Something, however, seemed to hold us on
both sides, from bringing it to the point. For the next
two months I suffered much; my mind was exercised
with many tender and painful feelings. One day my
mother sent me word I must go home to my lodgings
that night. I went down to dinner, but they said nothing
on the subject ; and I could not begin it. The next day,
as I was sitting in my room, I received again the same
message ; during dinner, however, nothing was spoken
on the subject. I was much distressed, I thought if they
do not invite me to come and see them again, how shall
I bear it ? At last, just as they were going out, my mo-
ther said, " If you will, the coach, when it has set us
down, may carry you to your lodging." My father
added, " we should be glad to have you dine with us
next Tuesday." This was some relief. I remained si-
lent. When the coach returned, I ordered my trunk into
it ; and struggling with myself, took a kind of leave of
each of the servants, as they stood in tears. My lodging
consisted of two rooms, as yet unfurnished. I had never
seen the people of the house, I only knew them by char-
acter to be sober persons. I borrowed a table and a can-
dlestick, and the window-seat served me as a chair. Bolt-
ing the door, I began to muse on my present situation.
" I am young — only entered into my twenty-second year.
MRS. FLETCHER. 59
I am cast out of my father's house. My heart knows
what it is to be a stranger. I prayed to the Lord, and
found a sweet calm spread over my spirit. I could in a
measure act faith on these words ; ' when thy father and
thy mother forsake thee, the Lord shall take thee up.'
" The following reflections also arose in my mind, ' I
am now exposed to the world, and know not the snares
that may be gathering around me. I will form a plan
for my future conduct, and endeavour to walk thereby. I
will not receive visits from single men ; and in order to
evade the trial more easily, I will not get acquainted with
any. I will endeavour to lay out my time by rule, that I
may know each hour what is to be done; nevertheless I
will cheerfully submit to have these rules broken, when-
ever the providence of God thinks fit to do so. Thirdly,
I will try to fix my mind on the example of Jesus Christ,
remembering he came not to be ministered unto but to
" The prejudices of education are strong; especially in
those brought up in rather high life. The being removed
from a parent's habitation seemed very awful. I consid-
ered myself liable to deep reproach, and trembled at the
thought. But I remembered, ' he that loveth father or
mother more than me, is not worthy of me.'
" I had hired a sober girl to be in readiness to attend
upon me; and my maid being now come, and having
lighted a fire in the other room, and borrowed a kw ar-
ticles of the family, she begged me to come into it, as the
night was very cold. And now my captivity seemed
turning every moment. The thought that I was brought
out of the world, and had nothing to do but to be holy,
filled me with consolation. Thankfulness overflowed my
heart; and such a spirit of peace and content poured into
my soul, that all about me seemed a little heaven.
60 GOOD WIVES,
" Some bread, with rank salt butter, and water to
drink, made me so comfortable a meal, that I could truly
say, ' I ate my meat with gladness, and singleness of
heart.' As the bed was not put up, I laid almost on the
ground that night, and it being a bright moonlight night,
the sweet solemnity thereof well agreed with the tranquillity
of my spirit. I had daily more cause for praise. I was
acquainted with many of the excellent of the earth, and
my delight was in them. Yet I was not without my
cross; for every time I went to see my dear parents,
what I* felt, when I rose up to go away, cannot well be
imagined. Not that I wished to abide there ; but there
was something very affecting in bidding farewell to those
under whose roof I had always lived ; though I saw the
wise and gracious hand of God in all, and that he had
by this means set me free to do his service. From my
heart I thanked Him as the author, and them as the
profitable instruments of doing me so great good. My
mother was frequently giving me little things; and every
renewed mark of kindness made the wound bleed
Whether it were a strict duty for Miss Bosanquet to
take so important a step as to withdraw from her natural
protectors rather than to conform to them, is not a ques-
tion to be decided by any conscience but her own. It
appears to me that the purification of the heart may go
on, under all kinds of external annoyances and incon-
But whether Miss Bosanquet was, or was not, mis-
taken in her perception of what was right, her intentions
appear to have been perfectly sincere and pure.
As she inherited some fortune from her grand-parents,
which was entirely at her own disposal, she was enabled
MRS. FLETCHER. 61
to live in respectability and comfort. Feeling the want
of a discreet faithful friend, she invited a poor invalid
woman, of the same religious persuasion as herself, to
he,r lodging; and until the death of this friend, they
shared " but one heart, one mind, and one purse."
Not long after she left home, she resolved to return to
her native village, and convert a house she owned there
into a place of religious instruction for poor children.
The Methodists were then a new sect, and there was a
gre*trexcitement about them. Her father told her, with
a smile, that he could not prevent the mob from pulling
her house about her ears, if they chose. She and her
friend were indeed frequently annoyed by the populace,
during their meetings ; but no worse injury was done
than breaking windows, throwing dirt, howling about the
house, &c. The orphan school succeeded wonderfully;
but as the number of scholars increased fast, it was ne-
cessary to employ many individuals to take care of them.
The whole expense came upon Miss Bosanquet, and she
soon began to realize that it would far exceed her income ;
but she believed that she had a peculiar call from the
Lord, and that she had nothing to do but to trust Divine
Providence. Generous and unexpected contributions did,
from time to time, lighten the load her benevolence had
imposed upon itself. Still she was often harassed to pay
her bills ; the care of so large a number of rude neglect-
ed children was a great trial to the patience ; and her
friend was sinking so fast, that each day she expected to
look upon her for the last time.
In the midst of these trials, she was deprived of her
parents. On his death-bed, her father talked to her with
much tenderness, and expressed regret that he had not
left her fortune so entirely at her own disposal as that of
62 GOOD WIVES.
the other children. He offered to have an alteration made
in the will ; but as she supposed there were some reasons
why it would disturb his dying moments, she would not
consent to any change.
She found the fortune her father had left unrestricted
was larger than his regrets had led her to imagine ; but
with a household of thirty to support, it is not strange
that she was involved in fresh embarrassments, for which
she was blamed by the worldly-wise, and laughed at by
the thoughtless. Her invalid friend said to her, '^My
dear, I hardly know how to rejoice in the prospect of
death, because I see no way for you. I shall leave you
in the hands of enemies, but God will take care of you."
Miss Bosanquet answered, " Can you think of any way
for me ? It is sometimes presented to my mind, that I
should be called to marry Mr. Fletcher." Her friend re-
plied, " I like hirn the best of any man, if ever you do
take that step. Yet unless he should be of a very tender
disposition toward you, you would not be happy ; but
God will direct you."
This avowal is the first intimation of an attachment to
Mr. Fletcher. He himself had no suspicion of it until
she accepted him many years after.
The impression made during their first acquaintance
was mutual. In a letter written by Mr. Fletcher to Mr.
Charles Wesley, soon after his introduction to the lady, he
says, "You ask me a very singular question, — I shall an-
swer it with a smile, as I suppose you asked it. You
mio-ht have remarked that for some days before I set off
for Madely, I considered matrimony with a different eye
to what I had done ; and the person who then presented
herself to my imagination was Miss Bosanquet. Her
image pursued me for some hours the last day, and that
MRS. FLETCHER. 63
so warmly, that I should, perhaps, have lost my peace, if
a suspicion of the truth of Juvenal's proverb, ' Veniunt a
dote sigittce? (' the arrows come from the portion? rather
than from the lady,) had not made me blush, fight, and
flee to Jesus, who delivered me at the same moment from
her image and from all ideas of marriage."
After the first allusion to Mr. Fletcher, he is frequent-
ly mentioned in Miss Bosanquet's journal. She speaks
of the spirituality of his writings and preaching, finds a
great similarity between his religious states and her own,
expresses anxiety concerning his health, the necessity of
his departure from England on that account, &c.
But his conscientious scruples lest her fortune was the
temptation kept them separated for a very long time : dur-
ing the interval of which they were both preparing for a
pure and eternal union, by following in all humility what
appeared to them to be the will of God.
Her path was one of peculiar trials. Her lonely situ-
ation, her pecuniary embarrassments, her unruly and ex-
pensive family, ingratitude and reproach where she had
reason to expect consolation and assistance, all conspired
to depress her mind, and enfeeble her health. It maybe
said that she brought these afflictions on herself by taking
an unnecessary burden ; but I think the good cannot re-
fuse a tribute of respect to intentions so pure, and efforts
so benevolent. In the midst of her perplexities, a gentle-
man, whose fortune exceeded her own, wished very
much to marry her, and strongly urged the necessity of
her having some friend to arrange her worldly business.
She deeply felt the want of such a friend ; and to one of
her simple habits his fortune was amply sufficient in case
of a total loss of her own ; but her affections were with
Mr. Fletcher ; and, unlike many ladies, it seemed to her
64 GOOD WIVES.
a sin, to make a solemn promise of love to a man she did
not love, and of honour to a man she could not honour.
If all were as conscientious as Mr. and Mrs. Fletcher, the
world would again become an Eden, where mortals mio-ht
walk with angels, and the voice of God be heard in the
Domestic love is the only rose we have left of paradise.
Alas ! that worldly prudence should scornfully cast it
away, keeping only the thorn, as a memento that the love-
ly blossom can exist in a sinful world.
The pair that so patiently trusted in providence were
led into the paths of happiness and peace. After an ab-
sence of fifteen years, Mr. Fletcher returned to England,
and immediately wrote to Miss Bosanquet that during
twenty-five years he had entertained a regard for her,
which was still as sincere as ever ; and if it appeared odd
that he should write on such a subject when he had just re-
turned from abroad, and especially without first seeing
her, he could only say that his mind was so strongly drawn
to do it, that he believed it to be the order of Providence.
This letter struck her as very remarkable ; for she
had with the most scrupulous delicacy, refrained from all
communication with him ; and fearing it was wrong to
employ her thoughts so much about him, she had prayed
to the Lord to give her some indication that he was the
man on whom she ought to fix her affections : and the
token she asked was, that he should write to her as soon
as he returned, and before he had seen her.
In whatever light this circumstance may be viewed, it
proves the tenderness of her conscience, and the beautiful
simplicity of her faith.
The necessity of arranging her worldly business, be-
fore she removed to the distant residence of her husband,
MRS. FLETCHER. 65
occasioned a few months' delay, during which time she
received visits from Mr. Fletcher, and corresponded with
perfect frankness concerning her temporal and eternal
concerns. By the sale of real estate, and the kind assist-
ance of her brothers, she was nearly extricated from debt,
and had a moderate income left at her disposal, by means of
which the remainder of her debts was gradually paid.
But increase of years had not taught this amiable
couple any respect for the maxims of human policy ; they
had grown old in the world, but not in the world's ways :
it was their mutual wish to appropriate a portion of her
income to the support of those orphans and invalids, who
had hitherto found a home with her. This benevolent
arrangement being made, they solemnly covenanted, in
the name of the Father, the Son, and Holy Spirit, to
become one forever.
The marriage took place in November, 1781 ; Mr.
Fletcher was fifty- two years old, and she was ten years
younger. Throughout their married life, they were
inspired with a unity of purpose, and a perfect sympa-
thy of heart ; so that it seemed as if their souls had
actually mingled into one. She was his partner by the
fireside, his companion in regeneration, and his assistant
in parochial duties ; she even shared in his paternal ex-
hortations to his flock.
The habit of public speaking among women was not
generally approved among the Methodists ; and she
herself was very diffident on the subject. She tells us
that none but her heavenly father knew how much she
suffered when preparing for such occasions. The prac-
tice originated in conversations with her assembled fami-
ly of orphans and invalids, to which a few neighbours
were sometimes added. By degrees, the zeal of others,
66 GOOD WIVES.
and a desire to impart her religious enjoyment, led her
to enlarge her sphere of action ; and when she wrote to
ask Mr. Wesley whether he considered it an unnecessary
departure from the proper vocation of her sex, his an-
swer implied that he generally disapproved of the prac-
tice, but he thought her justified in continuing it, because
she was the means of doing great good. Mr. Fletcher
was of the same opinion ; and there remained no obstacle
to her own convictions of duty.
Her greatest anxiety, at the time of her marriage,
seems to have been that she should not rightly perform
her duties in a new place, and among a people who were
strangers to her. When she spoke of this to Mr.
Fletcher, he replied, " Do not encumber yourself on my
account. If we must be thought ignorant and awkward,
let us be willing to submit to it ; I require nothing of thee,
my dear Polly, but to be more and more devoted to God."
The testimony of her journal proves that there was no
hypocrisy in this assertion. About a year after their
marriage, she writes : " A twelvemonth ago I saw no-
thing before me, temporally, but ruin ; but now my cup
of blessing runs over, above all I could hope or wish for.
I have the kindest and tenderest of husbands ; so spirit-
ual a man, and so spiritual a union, I never had any
adequate idea of. Oh, how does my soul praise God for
his gracious providence ! What a help-mate he is to me,
and how much better do we love one another than we did
a year ago !"
Many months afterward, she writes : " My dear hus-
band's health is not good. What the Lord will do with
us I know not. When I think of his life or health, being
in danger, I am not anxious, as I used to be, but can rest
in the love and wisdom of my unchangeable friend.
MRS. FLETCHER. 67
For this I praise Him, because no words can express the
treasure I possess in our union ; and in proportion as I
get nearer to God, I find a daily increase of that union ;
yet I am enabled so to give him up to the Lord, that it
holds my soul in a quiet dependance and sweet adherence
to the divine will."
Again she writes, " And do we see the anniversary of
our blessed union yet another year ? And are we yet
more happy and more tender toward each other ? Yes.
srlory be to God ! we are ; and what is better, I can truly
say, our souls get nearer to God. We are more spiritual,
and- live more for eternity.
« The Lord has showed me that he would make his
will known to me through that of my dear husband, that
I was to accept his directions as from God, and obey him
as the church does Christ. That as 1 must give myself
to his guidance as a child ; and wherever we were called,
or however employed in the work of God, I should al-
ways find protection, while I renounced all choice, by
doing the will of another rather than my own."
Mrs. Fletcher's health was far from being strong, and
she sunk under the fatigues, which her zeal imposed upon
her. When they had been married a little more than
three years, she was seized with a fever of a very alarm-
ing kind. At this time, she writes, " I had now a fresh
instance of the tender care and love of my blessed partner ;
sickness was made pleasant by his kind attention." Hav-
ing promised to preach at a place where they had always
been accustomed to go together, he was constrained by
her illness to go alone. He was deeply affected, and m
his sermon talked much of the piety and excellence of his
beloved wife ; his affectionate congregation sympathized
in his feelings and joined in his prayers. When he re-
turned home, he said to her, " My dear, I could scarcely
speak to the people. I felt, I knew not how, as if thy
empty chair stood by me. Something seemed to say we
should soon be parted ; and I thought, ' Must I meet
these people, and see her empty chair always by me.' '
One day, he said to her, " My dear love, I know not
how it is, but I have a strange impression death is very
near us, as if it be some sudden stroke upon one of us ;
and it draws out all my soul in prayer that we may be
ready. Lord, prepare the soul thou wilt call; and oh,
stand by the poor disconsolate one, who shall be left
While she was ill, he often, in imagination passed
through the whole parting scene, and struggled for the
fortitude of perfect resignation. Sometimes, he would
say, " Oh, must I ever see the day when thou art carried
out to be buried ? How will the little things thou wert
accustomed to use, and all those which thy tender care
has prepared for me, in every part of the house, how will
the sight of them wound and distress me !"
But she was the one called to taste the bitter cup of
separation. Before she was entirely recovered, he was
likewise attacked by fever. On Saturday he was so ill,
that Mrs. Fletcher begged he would not attempt to preach ;
but he answered that he believed it to be the will of the
Lord ; and in such cases, she never ventured to dissuade
This last service to his people was an affecting scene.
While reading the prayers, he nearly fainted away. His
wife made her way through the crowd, and begged him
to come out of the desk ; some other friends did so like-
wise ; but with a sweet smile, he begged them to desist,
and not interrupt the order of God. The windows were
MRS. FLETCHER. 69
opened, and a friend having presented him with a bunch
of fragrant flowers, he was somewhat revived. He
preached with a degree of strength and earnestness that
surprised his hearers. After the sermon, he went to the
communion-table, with these words, " I am going to throw
myself under the wings of the cherubim, before the mer-
The congregation was very large, and the service lasted
long. He could scarcely stand, and was often obliged to
stop for want of power to speak. His people were all
weeping around him. As soon as the service was over,
he was carried to his bed, where he immediately fainted
away. After having obtained a little refreshing sleep, he
waked with a pleasant smile, saying, " You see, my dear,
that I am no worse for doing the Lord's work. He never
fails me when I trust in him."
From that time he grew weaker. His sorrowing wife
prayed to the Lord to spare her beloved husband a little
longer, if it were his good pleasure: but she says, " My
prayer seemed to have no wings. It was held down,
and I could not help continually mingling therewith,
* Lord, give me a perfect resignation.' This uncertainty
in my own mind made me rather tremble, lest the Lord
was about to take the bitter cup out of my dear husband's
hand, and give it unto me."
One day she said to him, " My dear love, if I have ever
said or done any thing to grieve thee, how will the re-
membrance wound my heart should st thou be taken from
me." With inexpressible tenderness he intreated her
not to admit such thoughts, declaring his great thankful-
ness for the enjoyment he had derived from their perfect
His conversation was full of humility and faith. When
70 GOOD WIVES.
he was nearly speechless, he made a sign with his finger,
saying, " When I do this, you will know that I mean
God is love, and we will draw each other to God.
Observe ! We will draw each other to God." This sign
he repeated often, as long as he had power to make the
motion. His last prayer, as he affectionately pressed the
hand of his beloved partner, was, " Husband of the church,
be husband to my wife!"
He died on Sunday night, after an illness of nine or ten
days. His widow thus writes ; " Three years, nine
months, and two days, I lived with my heavenly-minded
husband ; but now the sun of my earthly joy is set forever,
and my soul filled with anguish, which only finds con-
solation in total resignation to the will of God. When I
was asking the Lord if he pleased to spare him to me a
little longer, the following answer was impressed on my
mind with great power : ' Where I am, there shall my
servants be, that they may behold my glory.' In the
accomplishment of this word of promise I look for our re-
union. It explained itself thus : that in Christ's immedi-
ate presence was our home, and that in being deeply
centered in him we should be re-united. I received it as
a fresh marriage for eternity. Whenever I thought of
this expression, ' to behold my glory,' it seemed to wipe
away every tear, and was as the ring by which we were
joined anew. As such I trust forever to hold it."
" The day after he died, it occurred to my mind that
before we were married some letters passed between us,
which he had often told me I had better burn ; saying,
1 Thou puttest it off! and if one of us should die, it will
almost kill the other to do it then.' Yet, being loth to part
with them, I had neglected to do it ; but now being seized
with a kind of palsy, and loss of memory, I thought, per-
MRS. FLETCHER. 71
haps in another day I may not be able to do it, and then
I shall be unfaithful to my dear husband's command.
The third day, therefore, I carried them to the fire. But
oh, what did I feel ! I could not even avoid seeing some
of the tender expressions they contained, which were now
as barbed arrows to my heart."
" I, who have known him most perfectly, am con-
strained to declare that I never knew any one walk so
closely in the ways of God as he did. The Lord gave
him a conscience tender as the apple of an eye. He lit-
erally preferred the interest of every one to his own. He
was rigidly just, but perfectly loose from all attachment
to the world. He shared all he had with the poor ; who
lay so close to his heart, that even when he could not
speak without difficulty, he cried out, ' What will become
of my poor!' He bore with all my faults and failings in a
manner that continually reminded me of the injunction,
' Love your wives, as Christ loved the church.' His con-
stant endeavour was to make me happy ; his strongest
desire my spiritual growth*. He was in every sense of
the word, the man my highest reason chose to obey."
This testimony is corroborated by all who have spoken
of Mr. Fletcher, either as a minister, or as a man. When
some French people were asked why they went to hear
a man whose language they could not understand, they
answered, " We went to look at him ; for heaven seemed
to beam from his countenance."
His disconsolate widow, speaking of her loss, says,
" My anguish was extreme. All outward support seem-
ed to be withdrawn; appetite and sleep quite failed; and
even the air, I often thought, had lost its vivifying power.
As I never before had any just conception of the bitter
anguish with which the Lord saw good to visit me at this
72 GOOD WIVES.
season, so I can give no just description of it. ' Known
unto God are all his ways ;' and I was assured, even in
the midst of my trouble, that all he did was well, and
that there was a needs be for this heavy trial. All my
religion seemed shrunk into one point ; a constant cry,
< Thy will be done.' "
Her greatest consolation, and the one to which her
mind constantly recurred, was in the idea that her beloved
husband was still with her. She says, " Perhaps he is
nearer to me than ever. Perhaps he sees me continually,
and, under God, guards and keeps me. Perhaps he
knows my very thoughts. These reflections, though
under a perhaps, give me some help. Could they be con-
curred by reason, and above all by Scripture, they would
yield me much consolation. I will try if I can find this
solid ground for them. It does not appear to me at all
contrary to reason to believe that happy departed spirits
see and know all they would wish, and are divinely per-
mitted to know ; and that they are concerned for the
dear fellow pilgrims, whom they have left behind. I
cannot but believe they are. Though death is a boun-
dary we cannot see through, they who have passed the
gulf may see us. Some small insects can see but a little
way ; an apple would appear to them a mountain ; but
we can see a thousand of them crawling at once, on what
we call a small spot of earth. When an infant is brought
into the world, how many senses, till then locked up, are
brought into action ! There was an apparent separation
from the mother; but every day increases its ability of
entering into her thoughts, and bearing a part in all her
feelings. And may we not suppose that some powers,
analogous to sight and hearing, are equally opened on
the entrance of a spirit into a heavenly state; though, like
■ It S . F L E T C II E R . 73
die infant, perhaps small in the beginning*, compared with.
the measure that is to follow? Are not these geasonable
trengthened by various passages of Scripture?
" When Elijah laid himself down to sleep under a ju-
niper tree in the desert, an angel bade him arise and eat
ill- food a watchful Providence bad provided for him.
The prophet did not, like Daniel, fall down as one dead;
n n\ like Zachariah and the shepherds, become sore afraid ;
afte? a moderate repast lie slept again, and received a
second visit from his bright messenger with the same steady
calmness as before. From which I am led to suppose
that Elijah was accustomed to such communications."
" If there be joy in the realms above 'over one sinner
that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine which
went not astray,' how evident it is that th« state of both
individuals must be known there. The spirit of my dear
husband loved and cared for me, and longed above every
other desire for my spiritual advancement. ■ If it were
the body, why doth it not love me still? Because that
which loved me, is gone from it. And what is that but
the spirit, which actuated the body as clock-work does
the hand that tells the hour ? As spiritual union arises
from a communication of the love which flows from Jesus
Christ, I cannot but believe that a fuller measure of that
divine principle must increase, not diminish, the union
between kindred souls ; and that their change will not
consist in the loss, but in the improvement of all good
" We are now in the body, and have senses and faculties
suited thereto ; and may not spirits have faculties suited
to spirits, by which they can as easily discern your soul,
as you could perceive their bodies, if they were in the same
state of existence as yourself? If you had never heard
74 GOOD WIVES,
of a looking glass, would you understand me if I said,
' Though you stand at one end of that long gallery, and
I at the other, with my back toward you, I can discern
your every action and motion?' Yet such a knowledge
the looking glass would convey to me, Now if all things
on earth are patterns and shadows of those above, may
not something analogous to the glass represent to the
world of spirits as just a picture of the changes of pos-
ture in the spirit as the glass does those of the body ?
That the appearance of the soul still in the body may be
seen in heaven, without the knowledge of the person con-
cerned, is evident ; because Ananias knew not that Saul
had ever seen or heard of him, until God said to him,
1 Behold he prayeth ; and hath seen in a vision a man
named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on ,,im,
that he may receive his sight.'
" God, both in his nature and his works, is perfect
unity. Division never comes from him. His original
design for our first parents was not sorrow, consequently
not separation. If we suppose their friendship was not to
have been immortal, we must suppose pain to be in para-
At the first return of the anniversary of her husband's
death, she writes in her journal, " I w T as led to reflect on
my union with my dear husband, and saw how much of
the heavenly state we had enjoyed together ; and it
seemed as if I so longed to give up all for God, that I
offered up to his divine will, even our eternal union, if
it were so in reality, as many suppose, that spirits forget
all they have known and loved here. Then the question
arose, 4 What part of our union can heaven dissolve ? It
will take away all that was painful, such as our fears for
each other's safety, our separations, &c. But what of
MRS. FLETCHER. 75
the pleasant part can heaven dissolve V I answered, from
the bottom of my heart, ' Nothing, Lord, nothing !' Clear
us light it appeared to me that heaven could not dissolve
anything which agreed with its own nature. What came
down from God, would, when returned to its source, live
forever, and be corroborated, but not lessened.
I am quite at a loss for words to describe the feelings
of that hour ; for it fixed in my soul an assurance of our
Some time after, she writes : " Last night I had a
powerful sense, in my sleep, of the presence of my dear
husband. I felt such a sweet communion with his spirit
as gave me much peaceful feeling. I had for some days
thought that I ought to resist, more than I did, that lively
remembrance of various scenes in his last illness, and
many other circumstances, which frequently occurred
with much pain. This thought being present to my
mind, I looked on him. He said, with a most sweet
smile, ■ It is better to forget.' * What,' said I, ' My dear
love, to forget one another V He replied with inexpress-
ible sweetness, ' It is better to forget ; it will not be long ;
we shall not be parted long; we shall soon meet again.'
He then signified, though not in words, that all weights
ought to be laid aside. His presence continued till I
A long time after, it is written in her journal: " This
day five years, my beloved was on his death bed. And
how is it with me now ! I answer from my heart, * It is
well.' I love him at this moment as well as I ever did
in my life ; but I love the will of God still better. I
adore thee, my Almighty Saviour, that thou hast done
thine own will, and not mine ! and that my dearest love
has been five years in glory. 0, that I might be per-
76 GOOD WIVES.
mitted to feel a little of what he now is. Lord, are we
not one ? ' The head of the woman is the man, as the
head of the man is Christ ;' and ' whom God hath joined
together, none can put asunder.' We are yet one; and
shall I not feel a communication from thyself passing
through that channel ? Lord make me spiritually minded
— ' meet to partake the inheritance of the saints in light.'
" Last night I prayed I might not have so disturbed a
night as I have found of late, but that the Lord would
keep away those hurrying dreams, which often disturb
the quiet repose of my spirit. And it was so ; I found a
difference. About the middle of the night, I saw my
dear husband before me. We ran into each other's arms.
I wished to ask him several questions concerning holi-
ness, and the degree to be expected here, &c. But I
found something like a dark cloud on my memory, so
that I said in myself, ' I cannot frame the question I
would ask j I am not permitted.' At length I asked, ' My
dear, do you not visit me sometimes V He answered,
' Many times a day.' ' But,' said I, ' do not principalities
and powers strive to hinder you from communing with
me?' He said, ' There is something in that.' ' And
does their opposition cause you to sufTer in coming to
me ?' He replied, ' There is not much in that.' ' Do you
know every material thing that occurs to me ?' 'Yes.'
4 And may T always know that thou art near me, when I
am in trouble, or pain, or danger?' He paused, and said
faintly, ' Why, yes ;' then added, ' but it is well for thee
not to know it, for thy reliance must not be upon me.'
He mentioned also some in glory who remembered me —
and said, ' Mr. Hey is with us also ; he bade me tell thee
so ;. and by that "' ou mayest know it is I who speak to
thee.' Mr. Hey died a short time before, very happy in
MRS. FLETCHER. 77
Old age came upon Mrs. Fetchei with a complication
of bodily diseases, among which were dropsy and can*
cry. Speaking of this, she says: k * I discern the near
approach of dissolution, and am daily made sensible of
decay. But these symptoms give me no dreary prospect.
Tin will of God is my choice, in whatsoever way it
■ itself. 1 feel a bleeding wound from the loss
of thru d( and beet of men. But I am Conscious he
is not dead! "He that believeth in Jesus shall never
The will of God is so dear to me. 1 rejoice thai it
is done ; though against my tenderest feelings.
'* I have communion with my dearest love before the
ne. He waits for me — he beckons me away. I
want to be a meet partaker with my dear, dear, holy hus-
I, now in light. I want to feel a fuller degree of the
spirit in which he lives. O, Lord, thou knowest our
union was far more in the spirit than in the flesh; thou
hast said, ■ What God hath joined together, let no man
put asunder.' Are we not still one?"
ain she writes: "This has been a solemn day.
Eight years ago I was, at this hour, waiting by his bed-
side, with my eyes fixed on his dear, calm, peaceful, dy-
ing countenance. I have this day gone through the scene ;
but glory be to God, in a different manner than w T hen w r e
seemed on the point of separation. This day it has been
constantly on my mind as if we thought and did all toge-
ther. Yes, thou dear spirit, well didst thou say to me in
a dream, ' I am not dead — I live.' Yes, thou dost live ;
and I have no doubt hast helped me this day to feel an
uncommon peace, such as I sometimes have felt when
dreaming, having in a peculiar manner a sense of the
presence of heavenly spirits. There are seasons when
the mind, joining itself to the Lord, feels a kind of auti-
78 GOOD WIVES,
cipation of the blissful union enjoyed in the realms of
light, and has communion, more or less sensible, with the
spirits before the throne. Some faint touches of this I
have felt this day."
A long time after, on the anniversary of her wedding,
she thus continues her journal : " How different was my
state this day fourteen years, when I first became a wife !
How tossed was my mind with a thousand fears, not yet
fully knowing ' the angel of the church,' to whom I was
joined ; and also encumbered with various temporal diffi-
culties. But now there is not one clog left. My dear
love's blessing does rest upon me. The husband of the
church is indeed my husband ; and mercy with overflow-
ing goodness follow me all the day long. When Sally^
or myself, visited the poor, and beheld great straits, we
have sometimes been constrained to withhold help, be-
cause my calculation would not allow it, though I had cut
off what expense I could, according to my best light.
This I laid before the Lord, and felt thoroughly content
either to help or not. In a few days I received a letter
from my brother with a proposal so to dispose of a part
of my money, as was likely to raise me several additional
pounds this year. A person also called and promised the
payment of five guineas, which I had quite given up for
lost. In a variety of little incidents, I have discerned
such a guiding hand of Providence, as hourly confirms
the truth of that word, ' The hairs of your head are all
The infirmities of age and disease crowded fast upon
this venerable Christian. Her zeal and benevolence con-
tinued unabated, but the suffering body could no longer
obey the dictates of the purified spirit. She complains
* A faithful and valued domestic.
MRS. FLETCHER. 79
she could " not see to write half what she felt in her
heart." Through hei whole life, her kindness to the
afflicted and the destitute knew no bounds; she wanted
to r lirvr all the misery there was in creation. Her book
Kpensea gave a Btriking proof how little she required
for herself, and how entirely she lived for others. The
yearly sum she i xpended upon her own person never
amounted to jfce pounds; while her annual expenditure
for the peoi was aevei less than one hundred and eighty
pounds. She was accustomed to say, " It is not impor-
tant what we have, but how we use it."
The same simplicity of heart, and consequent clearness
of faith, continued to the last. She says, " I have given
my hand to God, as a child to its mother, and he leads
me hour by hour."
The last mention she makes of her husband is as
follows : " I feel death very near. My body is full of
infirmities ; yet I am able to creep through each day, and
io work a little in my Lord's vineyard. This day, Sep-
tember twelfth, I am seventy-six years old, and the same
day my dear husband w T ould have been eighty-six. It is
nearly thirty-four years since our blessed union. It seems
but yesterday ; and he is as near and dear as ever.
Surely we shall remember the scenes we have had toge-
ther. Oh, my God and Father, enable me to walk in
thy presence ! Give me power to cleave to thee every
moment ! I feel the powers of darkness are vehemently
striving to distract and hinder me. My soul doth wait,
and long to fly to the bosom of my God."
Three months after she wrote this, she " slept in Jesus."
She died, in peace and joy, on the ninth of December,
1815, and her spirit joined her husband in that world,
where all that is pure in human affection, becomes the
immortal love of angels, and shares the eternity of God.
WIFE OF SIR RICHARD FANSHAWE.
Ann Harrtson was the eldest daughter of Sir John
Harrison of Balls, in England; her mother, Margaret
Fanshawe, was of an ancient and highly respectable fa-
mily, the members of which had at various times filled
important official situations. The young lady was born
in London, March 25, 1625. Mr. Hyde, afterward Lord
Clarendon, was her godfather. She herself relates a re-
markable story connected with her infancy. When she
was about three months old, her mother became alarm-
ingly ill with a fever, of which she apparently died. She
had been in her shroud two days and a night, when Dr.
Winston came on a visit of consolation to his friend Sir
John Harrison. Looking earnestly at the corpse, the
physician said, " She appears so beautiful, that I cannot
believe she is dead ;" and suddenly applying a lancet to
her foot, the blood began to flow. The application of
powerful restoratives renewed the suspended functions of
animal life. When she opened her eyes, her relatives,
Lady Knollys and Lady Russell, were bending over her.
According to the fashion of the times, they wore large,
wide sleeves, which might easily be mistaken for wings.
Lady Harrison's first exclamation was, " Did you not
promise me fifteen years ? and have you come again ?"
Her friends attributed these words to the delirium of ex-
ceeding weakness, and begged her to keep very quiet.
LAPV FANSHAWE. 81
When seyeral hours bad elapsed, and her faculties were
perfectly restored, Bhe desired to be left alone with her
husband, and Dr. Hewlsworth, their clergyman. When
her request had been complied with, she said, "During
my trance I waa in great quiet, but in a place I could
neither distinguish nor describe. The idea of leaving
my little girl remained a trouble upon my spirits. Sud-
denly I saw two by me, clothed in long white garments,
and methought I fell down with mv face in the dust.
They asked mo why 1 was .-ad in the midst of so great
happiness. I replied, 'O, let me have the same grant
given to Hczckiah, that I may live fifteen years, to see
my daughter a woman.' They answered, ' It is done :'
and at that instant, I awoke out of my trance."
This excellent woman recovered her health entirely,
and lived, a- -he had ever done, in the constant exercise
of piety and benevolence. She died on the 20th day of
July, 1640, exactly fifteen years from the period of her
trance. Dr. Ho wis worth preached her funeral sermon,
in which he told, before hundreds of people, the remark-
able story we have just related.
Ann Harrison was educated like most gentlewomen of
that period ; being well instructed in French, music,
dancing, and every variety of ornamental needle-work.
Blessed with vigorous health, and overflowing with ani-
mal spirits, she was gay even to wildness ; but though
she delighted in riding, running, and all manner of ac-
tive exercises, her manners were far removed from any-
thing like boldness, or immodesty.
The death of her good mother checked the somewhat
excessive vivacity of her character, and placed a salutary
restraint upon the thoughtless freedom of her youth. At
fifteen years of age she took charge of her father's house
and family, and fulfilled her duties in a manner highly-
At this period all England was troubled with the dis-
putes between the King and Parliament, which afterward
terminated so fatally for the injudicious monarch. Sir
John Harrison was a devoted royalist, and of course be-
came deeply involved in the difficulties and dangers of
those perilous times. His son, William Harrison, being
a member of the House of Commons, in 1641, pledoecL
his father to lend one hundred and fifty thousand pounds,
to pay the Scots, who had then entered England ; and
this immense debt remained unpaid until the restoration
of Charles the Second. In 1642, Sir John Harrison was
taken prisoner at his residence, called Montague House,
in Bishopgate street, London. His dwelling was plun-
dered of everything valuable, and he was threatened with
being sent on board ship with many others of the nobility.
Upon the pretence of obtaining certain writings relating
to the public revenue, he made his escape. In 1643, he
went to Oxford, and was a member of the Long Parlia-
ment, by means of which he lost the remainder of his
fortune, and all his estates were sequestered. His two
daughters resided with him at Oxford, in miserably un-
comfortable lodgings. These young ladies, who had from
infancy been accustomed to all the elegance and luxury of
wealth, were suddenly reduced to such poverty that they
had scarcely a change of clothing, and were obliged to
sleep on a hard bed in a wretched garret. Surrounded
by companions in distress, by sickness in various forms,
and hearing of nothing but the horrid chances of civil
war, their situation must have been desolate indeed ; yet
the unfortunate loyalists are said to have borne all their
privations and sufferings with a cheerful fortitude worthy
of a better cause and a happier fate.
LADY FANSHAWE. 83
At this period Charles the First, who had nothing but
empty honors to bestow, offered a baronetcy to Sir John
Harrison ; it was gratefully refused upon the plea that he
was too poor to support the dignities he already possessed.
William Harrison, who had joined the king when he set
up his standard at Nottingham, died in 1644, in conse-
quence of a fall from his horse, which was shot under him
in a skirmish with a party of the Earl of Essex. Not
bog after her brother's death, Aim Harrison was married
to Mr. Richard Fanshawe, one of the relatives of her
mother's family. The bride was a little more than nine-
teen, the bridegroom about thirty-six. The wedding was
very private ; none being present but her nearest relations,
her godfather, Sir Edward Hyde, and Sir Geoffry Palmer,
the King's attorney. Mrs. Fanshawe was married with
her mother's wedding ring, according to the express de-
sire of her deceased parent.
Richard Fanshawe had been educated a lawyer, in
compliance with the wishes of his mother ; but the study
was ever disagreeable to him, and when her death left
him roaster of his own actions, he indulged his strong
inclination to travel in foreign countries. He went to
Paris with no greater supply of cash than five pounds ;
but it proved lucky for him that some of his wealthy
relations were residing in that city. The very night he
arrived, two friars came to his lodgings, welcomed him
as their countryman, and invited him to play. The inex-
perienced young man, suspecting no mischief, agreed to
amuse himself in this way until supper was ready. The
cunning friars did not leave him a single penny ; but
when they found he had no means of paying for his supper
and lodgings, they loaned him five pieces of his money,
till he could apply to some of his friends for assistance.
GOOD W IVE S.
This lesson was never forgotten ; during the remainder
of his life, nothing could tempt him to play for money.
Seven years after this incident, Mr. Fanshawe being in
company with several gentlemen in Huntingdonshire,
was introduced to Captain Taller, in whom, notwithstand-
ing his wig, scarlet cloak, and buff suit, he immediately
recognised one of the Jesuits that cheated him. He
offered the pretended captain the five pieces of money,
saying, "Friar Sherwood, I know you, and you know
the meaning of this." The astonished knave begged him
to keep the secret, for his life was in danger.
After a year's stay in Paris, Mr. Fanshawe went to
Madrid. When he had been several years abroad, he
was made secretary to Lord Aston, then ambassador to
Spain. When the minister returned to England, he was
left resident until a new ambassador was appointed ; and
very soon after he set off for his native country. On this
journey, a Spanish inn, where he lodged, took fire in the
night. He was very weary, and slept so soundly that all
the noise and confusion around him did not awaken him.
The honest landlord carried him out and placed him on
a timber by the wayside, with his portmanteau and clothes
beside him. When he awoke, he missed nothing but the
house, which was burnt to the ground.
He arrived in England in 1638. His patrimony, which
was not large, had been nearly expended in his travels ;
and as one of the queen's Catholic favourites was his de-
termined enemy, he did not easily obtain any office. At
length, he was appointed Secretary of War to the Prince,
and received a promise from Charles the First that he
should be preferred to some more lucrative situation, as
soon as opportunity offered.
At the time of Mr. Fanshawe's marriage with his fair
LADY FANSHAWE. 85
relative, both his fortune and hers were in expectation.
Their union indicated a degree of trust in Divine Provi-
dence, which is but too rare among the young and ambi-
tious. She says, " We might truly be called merchant
adventurers, lor the stock we set up our trading with did
not amount to twent) pounds betwixt us; but it was to
us as a little piece of armour is against a bullet, which if
ii b right placed, though no bigger than a shilling,
serves as well as a whole suit of armour. Our stock
bou :h\ pen, ink and paper, which was your father's trade,
and by it I assure you we lived better than those who
were born to two thousand pounds a year, as long as he
had his liberty." .
In March, 1645, the duties of his office called Mr.
Fanshawe to Bristol. Their eldest son being but a few
days old, Mrs. Fanshawe was unable to accompany him.
This was their first separation, and it took place under
circumstances that added to its bitterness. They were
in poverty, in a garrison town, she was extremely weak,
and her babe was dying. Her husband, though naturally
a firm man, was affected even to tears.
Mrs. Fanshawe w T as not, however, without consolation.
It is not in the power of fate to make a true-hearted
woman miserable, while she is blessed with the love and
confidence of a kind husband.
The babe died, and the mother continued very ill for
several weeks ; but the attentions of her father and sister,
aided by frequent and affectionate letters from her hus-
band, at last restored the sufferer to comparative health.
In May, she received fifty pieces of gold from Mr.
Fanshawe, with a letter stating that men and horses
would be sent to enable her to come to him. Her joy
and gratitude on this occasion knew no bounds. She
86 GOOD WIVES.
says the gold she received when she was ready to perish
did not revive her half so much as the summons to meet
her dearly beloved partner. She went into the garden to
inform her father of the glad tidings she had received.
While they were expressing their mutual pleasure, drums
were heard in the highway, under the garden wall. It
was a company of foot, commanded by one of their friends,
and her father asked if she would like to see them pass.
She assented to the proposition, and not being very strong,
leaned against a tree for support. The officer, seeing
Sir John Harrison and his daughter, ordered a volley of
shot to be fired as a compliment. One of the muskets
chanced to be loaded, and a brace of bullets lodged in the
tree, not two inches above Mrs. Fanshawe's head.
The next week she and her relative started for Bristol,
full of hope and cheerfulness. The whole country was
in arms, and the party would in all probability have been
taken prisoners, had not a troop of horse escorted them
through the most dangerous part of their route. They
arrived at Bristol in safety, and were received by Mr.
Fanshawe with open arms. He gave his wife a hundred
pieces of gold, saying, " I know that she, who keeps my
heart so well, will keep my fortune. From this time, I
will ever put it into thy hands, as God shall bless me
She speaks of her feelings toward him with such
charming tenderness, and beautiful simplicity of lan-
guage, that I cannot forbear quoting her own words :
" And now I thought myself a perfect queen, and ray
husband so glorious a crown, that I more valued myself
to be called by his name than born a princess, for I knew
him very wise and very good, and his soul doated on me ;
upon which confidence, I will tell you what happened.
My Lady Rivers, a brave woman, and one that had
suffered many thousand pounds' loss for the king, for
whom I had a groat reverence, ahd she a kinswoman's
kindness for me, in discourse tacitly commended the
knowledge of state a (lairs ; she mentioned several women,
who were very happy in a good understanding thereof,
and said none of them was originally more capable than I.
She said a post would arrive from Paris from the Queen
thai night, and she should extremely like to know what
news it brought ; adding if I would ask my husband pri-
vately, he would tell me what he found in the packet,
and I might tell her. I, that was young and innocent,
and to that day had never in my mouth, ' What news V
now began to think there was more in inquiring into
public affairs than I had thought of; and that being a
fashionable thing it would make me more beloved of my
husband than I already was, if that had been possible.
When my husband returned home from the council, after
receiving my welcome, he went with his hands full of
papers into his study. I followed him ; he turned hastily,
and said, ' What wouldst thou have, my life V I told
him I heard the Prince had received a packet from the
Queen, and I guessed he had it in his hand, and I desir-
ed to know what was in it. He smilingly replied, ' My
love, 1 will immediately come to thee ; pray thee go ; for
I am very busy.' When he came out of his closet, I
revived my suit ; he kissed me, and talked of other things.
At supper I would eat nothing ; he as usual sat by me,
and drank often to me, which was his custom, and was
full of discourse to company that was at table. Going to
bed I asked him again, and said I could not believe he
loved me, if he refused to tell me all he knew. He an-
swered nothing, but stopped my mouth with kisses. I
cried, and he went to sleep. Next morning very early,
as his custom was, he called to rise, but began to dis-
course with me first, to which I made no reply ; he rose,
came on the other side of the bed, kissed me, drew the
curtains softly, and went to Court. When he came home
to dinner, he presently came to me as was usual, and
when I had him by the hand, I said, ' Thou dost not care
to see me troubled ;' to which he, taking me in his arms,
answered, c My dearest soul, nothing on earth can afflict
me like that ; when you asked me of my business, it was
wholly out of my power to satisfy thee. My life, my
fortune, shall be thine, and every thought of my heart, in
which the trust I am in may not be revealed ; but my
honour is my own, which I cannot preserve, if I commu-
nicate the Prince's affairs. I pray thee with this answer
" So great was his reason and goodness, that upon con-
sideration it made my folly appear to me so vile, that
from that day until the day of his death, I never thought
fit to ask him any business, except what he communicated
freely to me in or^er to his estate or family."
In the summer of 1645, the plague appeared in Bristol,
and increased so rapidly that the Prince and his suite
were obliged to change their residence. They removed
to Barnstable, one of the finest towns in England, then
commanded by Sir Allen Apsley, whom we have men-
tioned as the father of Mrs. Colonel Hutchinson. Here
they had the best of provisions, and excellent accommoda-
tions in all respects. Mrs. Fanshawe mentions as a curi-
osity, a parrot more than a hundred years old, which be-
longed to the house where they lodged.
The Prince's affairs did not allow him to remain long
at Barnstable ; he removed to Launcetown, in Cornwall,
LADY FANSHAWE. 89
followed by his personal attendants. During all the time
Mrs. Fanshawe was in the Court, she never saw the
prince, except a1 church ; it was considered improper for
a virtuous woman to visit a court where no la. lies pre-
sided, and during their journeys Mr. Fansliawe always
either Followed or preceded his royal master.
Sirs. Fanshawe took lodgings at Truro, about twenty
miles from Lau nee town, where her husband kept a small
trunk of jewels belonging to the prince. This circum-
stance being discovered, the house was attacked by rob-
bers, one night, when he was absent. Mrs. Fanshawe
and her household defended themselves until some of the
town's people came to their rescue ; and the next day an
armed guard was sent for their protection.
Early in the spring of 1646, the prince and his train
embarked for the Scilly Isles. Mr. Fanshawe's house
and furniture were left in the care of an officer, who
ch<ated them of all their possessions, under the pretence
that the goods had been plundered. To make matters
worse, the sailors broke open their trunks and pillaged
everything of value, not even leaving Mrs. Fanshawe her
ribbons and gloves. In the midst of all these disasters,
she was extremely sea-sick, and in a situation that un-
fitted her for such hardships. When they were set on
shore in the Island of Scilly, she was nearly dead. In
this condition she was obliged to sleep in a little room in
a garret, to which she ascended by means of a ladder.
The adjoining apartment was stored with dried fish.
Being overcome with fatigue, she soon fell asleep, but
awoke toward morning shivering with the cold ; and
when the day dawned, she discovered that her bed was
swimming in salt water, occasioned by the overflowing
of the spring-tides. They remained here several weeks,
90 GOOD WIVES,
almost destitute of clothes, fuel, or provisions. She says,
" Truly we begged our daily bread of God, for we thought
every meal our last."
But she seems to have endured all this with a strong-
heart. Loving her husband as she did, she carried her
own sunshine with her, and the world could not take it
From the Isles of Scilly, the prince and his followers
sailed for the Isle of Jersey, where they arrived in safety,
and were hospitably received among the loyal inhabitants.
Mr. Fanshawe's family took lodgings at the house of a
widow, who sold stockings ; here their second child was
born, and baptised by the name of Anne.
The Queen Henrietta Maria, then residing in France,
was exceedingly anxious that her son should join her ;
the prince accordingly departed for Paris, and Mr. Fan-
shawe's employment ceased. His brother, Lord Fan-
shawe, being very ill at Caen, he went thither with his
wife ; leaving their babe at Jersey, under the care of Lady
Cateret, wife of the Governor. From Caen, Mrs. Fan-
shawe, at her husband's request, went to London for the
purpose of raising money from his estates ; and making
some necessary arrangements for his safety. It was the
first journey she had ever taken without him, and the first
important business with which he had entrusted her.
The blessing of God rested upon her energetic and affec-
tionate efforts. By means of an influential member of the
parliamentary party, who owed some obligations to her
family, she procured a pass for her husband to return to
England, and compounded for a portion of her fortune.
They remained in England in great seclusion; for the
prospects of the king's party daily grew worse. In July,
1647, another son was added to their family. At this
LADY FANS H AWE. 91
time, the unfortunate Charles the First was at Hampton
Court, where ftfr. Fanshawe waited upon him and re-
ceived orders to proceed to Madrid, with letters and pri-
instructioas. Mrs. Fanshawe had several interviews
with the unhappy and misguided monarch ; and educated
be had been in principles of enthusiastic loyalty, no
wonder her heart paid a fervent tribute to his virtues, and
his sufferings. She say-. " When I took leavo of him, I
could not retrain from weeping. I prayed God to preserve
his majesty with long life and happy years. He passed
his hand over my cheek, and said, 'Child, if it pleases
God, it shall be so ; but we must both submit to His will;
and you know in what hands I am.' Turning to my
husband, be said, 'Be sure, Dick, to tell my son all I have
said, and deliver those letters to my wife. Pray God
bless her ! I hope I shall do well.' Then folding him
in his arms, he added, ' Thou hast ever been an honest
man. I hope God will bless thee, and make thee a happy
servant to my son, whom I have charged to continue his
love and trust to you. I do promise you that if ever I
am restored to my dignity I will bountifully reward you
both for your services and sufferings.'"
Alas, the royal prisoner never had it in his power to
fulfil these promises. If his political sins were great, he
made a fearful atonement for them. A very few months
after this parting interview with his faithful adherents,
he w r as beheaded at Whitehall.
The famous Mrs. Hutchinson w r as at this eventful pe-
riod suffering privations and perils nearly equal to those
encountered by Mrs. Fanshawe. Colonel Hutchinson
voted for the death of the king, while Mr. Fanshawe
would have given his own life to save him. The wife
of each was zealous in the politics of the heart,
92 GOOD WIVES,
in woman's loyalty to her husband. It would not have
been well for the liberties of England if the cause, in
which Mrs. Fanshawe's energies were displayed, had
triumphed ; but her disinterestedness and courage none
the less deserve our admiration and respect.
In October, 1647, Mr. Fanshawe went to Portsmouth
for the purpose of embarking for France. While there
they narrowly escaped being killed by a shot fired into
the town by the Dutch fleet, then at war with England.
The bullets passed so near as to whiz in their ears. Mrs.
Fanshawe called to her husband to run, but without al-
tering his pace, he replied, " If we must be killed, it
were as good to be killed walking as running."
The following spring they returned to England, bring-
ing with them their little daughter, whom they had left
in the Isle of Jersey. Soon after their arrival, Mrs.
Fanshawe again became a mother. She speaks of wel-
coming the Marchioness of Ormond in London, and of
receiving from her a ruby ring set with diamonds. A
few short months before, she was sleeping in a garret
among dried fish : a contrast by no means remarkable in
the adventures of the higher classes at that period.
The Prince of Wales was at that time on board the
fleet in the Downs ; part of this fleet declared for the
king, and part for the parliament. The prince resolved
to reduce the latter to obedience by force of arms, and
sent for Mr. Fanshawe to attend him. Being aware
that the enterprise would be one of extreme peril, he
wrote a farewell letter to his wife, entreating her to pre-
pare herself for the worst, and to endure whatever trials
might befal her, with patience and fortitude ; " and this
with so much love and reason," says Mrs. Fanshawe,
"that my heart melts to this day when I think of it."
L A 1) V V A N S 11 A W E . 93
Fortunately for the anxious wife, a storm separated the
Bhips, and prevented at: engagement.
Three months after, Mr. Fanshawe was sent to Paris,
on business for the prince; and his family accompanied
him. Here they associated intimately with the Queen
Mother, with Waller the poet, and with many distin-
guished men of their own and other nations.
Such was the embarrassed state of the royalists at this
period, that it again became necessary for Mrs. Fan-
tthawe to go to England to raise money. She was ac-
companied by her sister Margaret, her little daughter,
and Mrs. Waller. A violent storm arose during the pas-
sage, and the vessel was nearly wrecked. The women
and children were saved by being carried through the
water on the shoulders of the sailors.
From France Mr. Fanshawe went into Flanders, and
afterward to Ireland, to receive such moneys as Prince
Rupert could raise for the king.
In Ireland, he sent for his family to join him ; and Mrs.
Fanshawe tells us that she set out right cheerfully towards
her " north star." She carried her husband four thousand
pounds, which she had raised from their estates in Eng-
land. She says : " At that time I thought it a vast sum ;
but be it more or less, I am sure it was spent in seven
years' time, in the king's service, and to this hour I re-
pent it not, I thank God."
After a hazardous voyage, Mrs. Fanshawe joined her
beloved companions. They took up their residence at
Red Abbey, near Cork ; where they received much kind-
ness and attention, and lived very happily for a time.
But during this brief season of tranquillity, they heard
of the death of their second son Henry ; and a few-
weeks after they received these melancholy tidings,
94 GOOD WIVES.
Cromwell's army marched over Ireland, and effectually
stopped the intended expedition of Prince Rupert. Mrs.
Fanshawe's state of health at this time required indulg-
ence and repose ; and * she suffered excruciating pain
from a broken wrist, which had been unskilfully set. She
was unable to leave her chamber, when news was
brought that the city of Cork had revolted from the royal
cause. Her husband was gone on business to Kinsale,
when she was awakened at midnight by the discharge of
guns and the shrieks of women and children. This en-
ergetic woman, ill and suffering as she was, immediately
aroused all her family, and wrote a cheering letter to her
husband, assuring him that she should get away safely,
blessing God's Providence that he was out of danger ;
this letter was sent by a faithful servant, who was let
down from the walls of Red Abbey in the night time.
Having secured Mr. Fanshawe's papers, with about one
thousand pounds in gold and silver, she went directly into
the market-place, attended only by two servants, and
asked to see Colonel Jeffries. She was obliged to pass
through an armed and unruly multitude, and she was in
a state of severe suffering ; but the exigencies of the mo-
ment demanded exertion, and when was the strength of a
loving heart found unequal to its allotted task ? Colonel
Jefferies had reason to be grateful to Mrs. Fanshawe's
father, for some former services; and he did not hesitate
to give a safe passport for herself, her family, and her
goods, out of that dangerous vicinity. Thus provided,
the invalid returned to Red Abbey through thousands of
naked swords, hired a cart, and set off at five o'clock in
the morning, in November, with her sister, her little girl,
three maids, and two men. They had but two horses
among them, which they rode by turns. It was of course
LADY F A N S H A W E . 95
impossible to avoid leaving; considerable furniture exposed
to the certain plunder of the soldiers. The party travel-
led in perpetual fear of being ordered back again; but
\ at last arrived at Kinsale in safety, and were thank-
fully clasped to the heart of the anxious husband and
lather. Cromwell was very much vexed when he heard
that Mr. Fanshawe's papers had been carried away by
his wife. ' It was of as much consequence to seize his pa-
p ra as to obtain possession of the town !" exclaimed he.
A few days after this escape, Mr. Fanshaw T e received
orders to proceed to the court of Spain with letters to
Philip the Fourth. The Earl of Roscommon, then Lord
Chancellor, fell down stairs and shattered his skull, just
as he had ended a private conference with him, and was
about to light him to the door. By his death, the broad
seal of Ireland was left in Mr. Fanshawe's hands, and it
became necessary to delay his departure, till he received
orders how to dispose of it. At this juncture they gladly
availed themselves of the hospitable invitation of several
of the Irish nobility. A few nights were passed with
Lady O'Brien, daughter of the Earl of Thomond. Here
Mrs. Fanshawe was frightened by a pale phantom of a
woman at the window ; and when, after much difficulty
she succeeded in waking her husband, the figure had
vanished, but the window remained open. In the morn-
ing their hostess informed them that they had slept in a
haunted apartment, and that the phantom was an old
hereditary spirit of the castle, whose body had been mur-
dered by one of the O'Briens ; but as it only appeared
w T hen some of the family died, she had not thought of the
circumstance when she placed her guests in that room ;
she added that her cousin had died a little past midnight
in the chamber above.
96 GOOD WIVES.
Mr. Fanshawe 's mode of arguing on this occasion is a
good illustration of the superstition of those times : he
said such sights were very common in Ireland, because
the inhabitants had too little of a wise faith, and were too
ignorant to defend themselves against the power, which
the Evil One exercised so freely among them.
As soon as possible, Mr. Fanshavve transferred the
great seal to other hands, and started for Gal way, in order
to take shipping for Spain. The conquering Cromwell
was close upon their footsteps, and they journeyed in
anxiety and fear. The captain, with whom they sailed,
was a drunken brutal fellow. Being met by a Turkish
man-of-war, he resolved to fight, and prepared himself by
copious draughts of brandy. The situation of the passen-
gers was far from being enviable, for the vessel was so
laden with goods that the guns were nearly useless. The
women were ordered not to appear on deck, lest the
Turks should suspect the vessel was not a ship of war.
Mr. Fanshaw T e, with the other passengers, armed and
went on deck. The captain, fearing the women would
not remain quiet, locked the cabin-door. Mrs. Fanshawe
was in a paroxysm of distress ; anxiety for her beloved
husband made her absolutely frantic. For a long time
she knocked and called aloud to no purpose ; in the con-
fusion of the moment she was entirely disregarded. At
length, the cabin-boy opened the door, and inquired what
was wanted, In a passion of tears, Mrs. Fanshawe beg-
ged him to lend her his tarred coat and blue thrum cap ;
the boy consented ; and throwing him half a crown, she
hastily equipped herself, and stole softly to the side of
her husband. The two vessels were engaged in parley,
and the commander of the Turkish galley finding the
enemy well manned and armed, deemed it prudent to
LADY F A N B TI A WE. 97
about, without giving any proofs of hostility. Mr.
Fanshawe did not observe bis companion in the tarred
eoat, and thrum cap, until the danger was past, and he
■ I to carry the news to the cabin. She Bays, " Look-
in-- upon me, he blessed himself, and snatched me up in
( I m! God ! thai love can make this
change! 1 and though he seemingly chid me, he would
be remembered that voyage."
They arrived safely at Malaga, and passed through
ada on their way to Madrid. She thus describes
celebrated Moorish palace, called the Alhambra,
where Columbus received promises of assistance from
Ferdinand and Isabella, and where, nearly three centu-
and i half after, Washington Irving lived and wrote :
'•Th' day we went to Granada, having passed the
hiffhi si mount tins I ever Baw in my life ; but under this
the finesl valley that can he possibly described;
adorn* d with high trees and rich grass, and beautified
with a large, deep, clear river over the town ; here stand-
eth the goodly, vast palace of the king's called the Al-
hambra, whose buildings are, after the fashion of the
Moors, adorned with vast quantities of jasper stone ;
many courts, many fountains, and by reason it is situated
on the side of a hill, and not built uniform, many gardens
with ponds in them, and many baths made of jasper, and
many principal rooms roofed with the mosaic work, which
exceeds the finest enamel lever saw. Here I was show-
ed in the midst of a very large piece of rich embroidery
made by the Moors of Granada, in the middle as long as
half a yard, of the true Tyrian dye, which is so glorious
a colour that it cannot be expressed : it hath the glory of
scarlet, the beauty of purple, and is so bright that when
the eye is removed upon any other object it seems as
93 GOOD WIVES,
white as snow. The entry into this great palace is of
stone, for a porter 's-lodge, but very magnificent, though
the gate below, which is adorned with figures of forest-
work, in which the Moors did transcend. High above
this gate was a bunch of keys cut in stone likewise, with
this motto : * Until that hand hold those keys, the Chris-
tians shall never possess this Alhambra.' This was a
prophecy they had, in which they animated themselves,
by reason of the impossibility that ever they should meet.
But see, how true there is a time for all things. It hap-
pened that when the Moors were besieged in that place
by Don Fernando and his Queen Isabella, the king with
an arrow out of a bow, which they then used in war,
shooting the first arrow as their custom is, cut that part of
the stone that holds the keys, which was in fashion of a
chain, and the keys falling, remained in the hand under-
neath. This strange accident preceded but a few days
the conquest of the town of Granada and the kingdom.
11 They have in this place an iron grate, fixed into the
side of the hill, that is a rock : I laid my head to the key
hole and heard the clashing of arms, but could not distin-
guish other shrill noises I heard with that, but tradition
says it could never be opened since the Moors left it ;
notwithstanding several persons had endeavoured to wrench
it open, but that they had perished in the attempt. The
truth of this T can say no more to ; but that there is such
a gate, and I have seen it."
Mr. Fanshawe did not succeed in obtaining a supply
of money from the Spanish court ; and having no other
business in that country he embarked with his family for
France. It seemed as if every step of theirs was to
be attended with peril. During this voyage they were
nearly wrecked in a violent storm, and the sailors were
I a D v I a M I i: -\ W B . 99
ignorant and ohs'inate. Alter many dangers, they were
landed at a little village about two league! from Nantz.
They were obliged to Bit up all night, for want of hods;
but they hardly (bought <>f this inconvenience, so joyful
re they :it their unhoped for escape. Their supper
consisted of white wine, bread, butter, milk, walnuts,
. and bad cheese* They partook of these simple
provisions m gladness of heart, repeating a thousand
Diet what they had -aid to sack other when th
thought every word might ho the last Mrs. Panshawe
- she never till that moment know such exquisite
sure in eating.
In the autumn of this year Mr. Fanshawe was created
baronet From Nantz the travellers proceeded to Orleans.
11 iving hired a beat, they were towed up the river during
the day, and every night went on shore to sleep. In the
Hrning they carried wine, fruit, bread, fee., on hoard the
aught fish fresh from the river, and prepared their
breakfast Following the beautiful river of Loire, they
were surrounded by the most agreeable and picturesque
scenery — cities, castles, woods, meadows, and pastures.
Lady Fanshawe frSSUtea US, She never found any mode of
travelling bo pleasant as this. They were alone with
nature; and she is always lovely.
They arrived at Paris about the middle of November,
1650. They were received with great kindness and re-
spect by Henrietta Maria, the Queen Mother; indeed it
was hardly possible for her to evince too much gratitude
toward friends who had laboured without reward, and often
without hope, in the cause of her husband and son. At
her request Sir Richard Fanshawe undertook to convey
letters from her to Charles the Second, then on his way
100 GOOD WIVES.
In the meantime Lady Fanshawe was again obliged
to go to England to raise money.
The fugitive king received his mother's messenger
with marked kindness, giving him the custody of the
Great Seal and Privy Signet.
Lady Fanshawe remained in London, with very limit-
ed resources, and two young children to maintain. The
violent hostility of political parties in Scotland made her
tremble for the safety of her husband ; she scarcely went
out of her house for seven months, and spent much of
her time in praying for the preservation of a life so pre-
cious to her. On the 24th of June, another daughter
was added to her cares and her blessings. Frequent
visits from her affectionate father, and occasional letters
from her husband, served to keep up her fortitude amid
many discouragements. As soon as her health permitted,
she made a visit to her brother Fanshawe, at Ware Park.
Here she received tidings of the battle of Worcester.
For three days she was unable to learn whether her hus-
band were dead or alive ; and during this state of intol-
erable suspense, she trembled at every sound, and neither
ate nor slept. At last she knew that he was taken pri-
soner ; and she immediately hastened to London, to meet
him wheresoever he might be carried. On her arrival,
she received a letter from him, informing her that he
would be allowed to dine with her in a room at Charing
Cross. The room and the dinner were prepared, accord-
ing to appointment, and surrounded by her father and
friends, the anxious wife waited impatiently for his arri-
val. They met in poverty and in sorrow ; and there
was an oppressive consciousness that each hour might be
the last of the prisoner's life. He assumed a cheerful
tone, saying, " Let us lose no time ; for I know not how
LADY FANSHAWE. 101
little I may have to spare. This is the chance of war ;
so let us sit down and be merry while we may." But
when he saw his wife in tears, his voice faltered, as he
took her hand and said, " Cease weeping ; no other
thing upon earth can move me ; remember we are all at
God's disposal." **
During his imprisonment, she never failed to go se-
cretly with a dark lantern, at four o'clock in the morn-
ing to his window. She minded neither darkness nor
storms, and often stood talking with him with her gar-
ments drenched in rain. Cromwell had a great respect
for Sir Richard Fanshawe, and would have bought him
into his service upon almost any terms.
When Lady Fanshawe went to him to beg her hus-
band's release upon the ground of his declining health,
he bade her bring a certificate from a physician that he
was really ill ; it chanced that her family physician was
likewise employed by Cromwell, and from him she ob-
tained a statement very favourable to the prisoner. The
subject was debated in the Council Chamber, and seve-
ral gentlemen, particularly Sir Harry Yane, considered
it dangerous to allow liberty to so confirmed and efficient
a royalist ; but Cromwell was not disposed to be severe,
and Sir Richard finally obtained his discharge upon four
thousand pounds bail.
The conduct of his faithful wife during the whole of
this anxious crisis, was exceedingly beautiful and affect-
ing. A few days after he obtained his freedom, he be-
came so ill, that for many days and nights, he only slept
as he leaned on her shoulder while she walked softly
about the room.
In March, 1653, they removed to Tankersly Park, in
Yorkshire, which they hired of the Earl of Strafford.
GOOD WIVE S .
Here Mr. Fanshawe devoted himself to literary pursuits,
and translated the Lusiad of Camoens. The death of
their oldest and favourite daughter, a child of great beau-
ty and wit, the companion of all their vicissitudes, made
this pleasant abode seem melancholy to them.
They went into Huntingdonshire, and remained six
months with his sister, Lady Bedell.
Sir Richard Fanshawe having visited London, was
forbidden to go more than five miles from the city ; his
family accordingly joined him in the metropolis.
For a few years, their lives past on, according to the
ordinary routine of human affairs, affording few incidents
of biography ; their family increased rapidly : and at one
time they were both brought nearly to the grave by a
In 1658, they received the tidings of Cromwell's death ;
and Sir Richard Fanshawe, taking advantage of this
event, left England under the pretence of becoming tutor
to the Earl of Pembroke's son, then on his travels.
When he arrived at Paris, he sent for his wife and
children ; but when she applied for a passport, she was
told that " her husband had escaped by means of a trick ;
and as for his family, they should not stir out of London
upon any conditions."
In this dilemma, Lady Fanshawe taxed her ingenuity
to find some means of eluding these peremptory com-
mands. She was quite ready to depart, and if she could
but obtain a passport, she might be in France before they
would miss her.
She changed her dress, and assuming great plainness
of speech and manner, she went to the office where the
passes were given, and very demurely told her story.
She said her name was Ann Harrison ; that her husband
LADY FANSHAWE. 103
was a young merchant, and Lad sent for her to come to
him in Paris. The man told her a passport would cost
her a crown. She said that was a great sum for such a
poor hody, and asked if he were not willing to include
three children, a man servant, and a maid. The officer
complied, saying as he did so, " a malignant would give
me five pounds for such a pass."
Thanking him kindly, she hastened to her lodgings,
and changed the letters of her name so ingeniously, that
Fanshawe appeared fairly written where Harrison had
been. This done, she went with all possible despatch to
Dover. There, the officers demanded her passport, after
reading it, they said, " Madam, you. may go when you
please ;" but one of them observed to the other, " I little
thought they would have given a pass to the family of so
great a malignant, in these troublesome times."
She arrived safely at Calais, where she heard that mes-
sengers had been despatched from London to bring her
back. She met her husband at Paris, and followed him
to Newport, Bruges, Ghent, and Brussels ; at which last
place, the royal family of England were residing.
After the restoration, the King promised to reward Sir
Richard Fanshawe's fidelity by appointing him Secretary
of State ; but by the treachery of Lord Clarendon the
royal w T ord was not fulfilled.
The morning after Charles's arrival at "Whitehall,
Lady Fanshawe with the other ladies of her family,
waited upon him to ofTer their congratulations ; on which
occasion he assured her of his favour, conferred knight-
hood on her husband, and gave him his miniature set in
* This miniature was taken in childhood, and was valuable
because it was the only likeness of Charles II. taken at that
104 GOOD WIVES.
In the parliament summoned immediately after the
Eestoration, Sir Richard Fanshawe was returned for the
University of Cambridge, and was the very first member
chosen in the House of Commons.
Lord Clarendon, being jealous of the estimation in
which Sir Richard was held by all parties, was anxious
to remove him from the king's person. By his means he
was sent to Portugal to negotiate the marriage with the
Princess Catherine. Having finished this negotiation, he
returned to England, and was sent to Portsmouth to
receive the new queen, whose marriage they afterward
Early in 1662, he was nominated Privy Counsellor
of Ireland ; and in the August following he was appointed
Ambassador to Portugal. On this occasion he was pre-
sented with a full length portrait of Charles the Second
in his garter robes ; a crimson velvet cloth of state,
fringed and laced with gold ; chair, footstools, and cush-
ions of the same ; a Persian carpet to lay under them ; a
suit of fine tapestry for the room ; two velvet altar cloths
for the chapel, fringed with gold ; surplices, altar cloths
and napkins of fine linen ; a Bible with Ogleby's prints ;
two Prayer Books ; eight hundred ounces of gilt plate,
and four thousand ounces of silver plate ; but a velvet
bed, which Lady Fanshawe says belonged to the outfit
of an ambassador, they did not receive.
All the pageantry of their grand entry into Lisbon is
minutely described ; and much is said of the respect and
attention bestowed upon Lady Fanshawe and her daugh-
ters by the royal family of Portugal.
After a year's residence in Lisbon, Sir Richard was
recalled. At parting, the King of Portugal presented him
with gold plate to the value of twelve thousand crowns ;
LADY FANS H AWE. 105
and Lady Fanshawe received several magnificent gifts
from other members of the royal family, and the nobility.
An anecdote told of a nunnery where Lady Fanshawe
visited, is an awful memento of the oppression and big-
otry of those times.
A Jewish mother was condemned and executed for her
religion. Her newly born infant was taken from her,
and brought up in the Esperanza. The child had no op-
portunity of learning what a Jew was ; but the Catholics
affirmed that she daily whipped the crucifixes, and
scratched them, and run pins into them ; and when she
was discovered in the act, she said she never would wor-
ship their God. At fourteen years of age, the poor girl
was burnt to death, upon the strength of these idle
In January, 1664, Sir Richard Fanshawe was appoint-
ed Ambassador to Spain ; and again we have a minute
description of the solemn pomp with which they were
received on their arrival at a foreign court. The follow-
ing account of a visit received by Lady Fanshawe is a
sublime specimen of Spanish formality : " As soon as
the Duke was seated and covered, he said, * Madam, I
am Don Juan de la Cueva, Duke of Albuquerque, Vice-
roy of Milan, of his Majesty's Privy Council, General of
the Galleys, twice Grandee, the First Gentleman of his
Mijesty's Bed Chamber, and a near kinsman to his Ca-
tholic Majesty, whom God long preserve' — then rising
up and making a low reverence with his hat off, he
added, ' These, with my family and life, I lay at your
Excellency's feet.' "
The Duchess of Albuquerque afterward made a visit
in state ; her intention being formally announced the day
preceding. Beside other rich jewels, she wore about two
106 GOOD WIVES.
thousand pearls, of great size and purity. When Lady
Fanshawe returned this visit, she was received by sol-
diers, who stood to their arms, the officers lowering their
standards to the ground, as they were wont to do in the
presence of royalty. Indeed, the whole of Sir Richard's
residence in Spain, was marked by almost regal splendour.
His house was stored with abundance of rich gilt and
silver plate ; all the floors were covered with Persian car-
pets ; and the meanest apartment, devoted to the service
of the chambermaid, was hung with damask.
They were escorted into Seville by a very large pro-
cession, and were lodged in the King's palace, where they
slept on a silver bedstead, with curtains and counterpane
of crimson damask embroidered with golden flowers.
The tables and mirrors were adorned with precious stones,
the chairs were of silver, and a large silver vase was
daily filled with the rarest and most beautiful flowers.
Similar magnificence characterised their reception in
several Spanish cities ; and the gifts bestowed upon
them by the nobility, and by the English residents, were
right princely. But where presents of this kind are ac-
cepted by ambassadors, it involves the necessity of some-
what lavish expense in return ; and as Sir Richard Fan-
shawe was of a very noble nature, it is not wonderful
that he failed to amass a fortune in Spain.
Perhaps some may be curious to know the Court dress
of an ambassador from Charles the Second. When Sir
Richard Fanshawe had his audience with the Spanish
monarch, he wore a rich suit of dark brocade, with gold
and silver lace of curious workmanship ; his suit was
trimmed with scarlet taffety ribbon ; white silk stockings
upon long scarlet silk ones : black shoes with scarlet
shoe-strings and garters ; his linen trimmed with costly
LADY FANSHAWE. 107
Flanders lace ; his black beaver buttoned on the left side
with a jewel worth twelve hundred pounds ; a curiously
wrought gold chain, on which was suspended the minia-
ture of Charles, glittering with diamonds ; his gloves
trimmed with scarlet ribbons. The carriage was richly
gilt on the outside, adorned with brass work, lined with
crimson velvet, with broad gold lace ; and tassels of gold
and silver looped up the damask curtains ; massive fringe
of gold and silver hung from the boot almost to the ground ;
the harness for four horses of embossed brass, the reins
and tassels of crimson silk embroidered with gold.
The other carriages and dresses were in a style of pro-
portionate magnificence. If Lady Fanshawe is deemed
frivolous for informing us of these particulars, it must be
remembered she did not write for the public, but for her
children, who would naturally be interested in everything
relating to their parents.
She says that neither she' nor her husband liked this
ostentatious mode of life, and that they often sighed for
a country residence in England. We can easily believe
this assertion from a woman, who placed so much of her
happiness in domestic affection.
Lady Fanshawe had good features, and a clear, bright,
intelligent expression, which announced the energy and
vivacity of her character. The enduring attachment of
her husband is a proof that she was agreeable in her
manners, and amiable in her disposition : this likewise
was implied by the Spanish Queen, who sent her a jewel
of diamonds, worth about two thousand pounds sterling,
with the assurance that she gave it not merely to the wife
of a great king's ambassador, but to a lady for whom she
entertained much respect, and in whose conversation she
108 GOOD WIVES.
The engraved portrait of Lady Fanshawe gives the
idea that she was ambitious ; and the same inference may
be drawn from the evident pride and pleasure with which
she recounts her husband's honours; but after all, "am-
bition is the infirmity of noble minds."
The various scenes of her eventful life are recorded
with remarkable simplicity, and not without occasional
touches of poetic beauty.
The most brilliant portion of her existence was passed
in Spain ; and she speaks of that romantic country in
terms of enthusiastic praise. She says their fruits are
the most delicious, their bread the sweetest, the water of
their fountains the coolest and purest, their perfumes the
most exquisite, and their wines richer than any in the
Christian world; the higher classes magnificent in their
habits, and all classes generous and hospitable. Among
the seven courts in which it had been Lady Fanshawe's
lot to reside, she declares that of Madrid to be the best
ordered, excepting the English. She tells us " the Span-
iards are the most jolly travellers in the world, dealing
out provisions of all sorts to everybody they meet at their
meals. They are civil to all, as their qualities require,
with the highest respect. I have seen a grandee and a
duke stop their horse when an ordinary woman passeth
over a kennel, because he would not spoil her clothes ;
and put off his hat to the meanest woman that makes a
reverence, though it be their footman's wife."
Lady Fanshawe thus describes the royal cemetery in
the church of the Escurial : " ThereT saw the most glo-
rious place for the covering of the bones of the kings of
Spain, that is possible to imagine. The descent is about
thirty steps, all of polished marble, arched and lined on
all sides with polished jasper. On the left hand is a large
LADY FANSHAWE. 109
vault in which the bodies of their kings, and of the
queens that have been mothers of kings, lie in silver cof-
fins for one year. On the opposite side lie the Queens,
who had no sons at their death, and all the children that
did not inherit. At the bottom of the stairs is the Pan-
theon, eight feet square, and I should guess about sixty-
feet over. The whole lining is of jasper, curiously
carved in figures, flowers, and imagery. A silver branch
for forty lights, which is vastly rich, hangs from the top
by a silver chain, within three yards of the bottom, and
is made with great art ; as is also a curious knot of jas-
per on the floor, in the reflection of which the branch
and its lights are perfectly seen. The bodies lie in jas-
per stones, every coffin supported by four lions of jasper.
There are seven arches supported by jasper pillars, with
roofs curiously wrought. The one opposite the entrance
contains a very curious altar and crucifix of jasper."
In December, 1665, Sir Richard Fanshawe signed a
treaty with the Spanish minister, but as the king refused
to ratify it, he was recalled. The May following he es-
corted his successor, the Earl of Sandwich, into Madrid,
and welcomed him to Court. The necessary prepara-
tions were soon made for their return to England ; but on
June 26th, Sir Richard Fanshawe died of a malignant
fever, after a short illness.
He felt his recall deeply, because he thought it was
occasioned by the misrepresentations of his enemies, and
some supposed it hastened his death ; but Lady Fanshawe
says nothing to favour such a supposition.
It is indeed true that Sir Richard, in common with
other adherents of the house of Stuart, met with an un-
grateful return for all his services. During the latter
part of his residence in Spain, he was obliged to pawn
110 GOOD WIVES-
his plate for subsistence, being unable to obtain his just
allowance from government.
The desolate situation of the almost heart-broken widow
excited much commiseration. The Queen of Spain
offered her a pension of thirty thousand ducats per annum,
and a handsome provision for her children, if they would
remain with her, and embrace the Catholic religion.
Lady Fanshawe replied that she should retain a most
grateful sense of her kindness to the latest hour of
her life ; but begged her Majesty to believe that it was
not possible for her to quit the faith in which she had
been born and bred. Her own language will best por-
tray her feelings under this severe affliction : * O, all
powerful and good God, look down from heaven upon
the most distressed wretch on earth. My glory and my
guide, all my comfort in this life is taken from me. See
me staggering in my path, because I expected a temporal
blessing as a reward for the great innocence and integ-
rity of his whole life. Have pity on me, O Lord, and
speak peace to my disquieted soul, now sinking under
this great weight, which without thy support cannot sus-
tain itself. See me with five children, a distressed fam-
ily, the temptation of the change of my religion, out of
my country, away from my friends, without counsel, and
without means to return with my sad family to England.
Do with me, and for me, what thou pleasest ; for I do
wholly rely on thy promises to the widow and the father-
less ; humbly beseeching thee, that when this mortal life
is ended, I may be joined with the soul of my dear hus-
The body of Sir Richard Fanshawe was embalmed ;
and for several months his widow had it daily in her
sight. It was her wish to accompany the corpse to Eng-
LADY FANSHAWE. Ill
; bul for a long time they had received no money
from government ; and now in the midst of her affliction,
surrounded by her little children, with a young babe in
her arms, no assistance was offered by her ungrateful
king ; and the ministers sent only complimentary letters
bidding " God help her."
At this anxious crisis, the Spanish Queen Regent,
Anne of Austria, widow of Phillip the Fourth, gave her
two thousand pistoles, saying, with great delicacy, that
the sum had been appropriated to purchasing a farewell
present for her husband, had he lived to depart from
After distributing articles of value among her numerous
friends, Lady Fanshawe quitted Madrid, on the 8th of
July, 1666. She pathetically observes, " Truly may I
say never any ambassador's family came into Spain
more gloriously, or went out so sad."
The mournful train arrived in England on the 30th of
October. The body was buried, with a good deal of
pomp, in the vault of St. Mary's Chapel, in Ware Church.
His widow erected a handsome monument to his memory.
Sir Richard Fanshawe was fifty-nine years old when
he died, and had lived in happy union with his excellent
wife during twenty-two years.
Lady Fanshawe received many professions of kind-
ness and sympathy from the king, the queen, and some
of the ministers ; but she had great trouble in procuring
the money due to her husband. The heartless and pro-
fligate Charles found his pleasures too expensive to leave
anything in his treasury for the tried friends, who had
been faithful to him when fidelity endangered life ; who
for thirty years had been devoted to his service, braving
all manner of perils by land and sea ; and who had ex-
pended a fortune in his cause.
112 GOOD WIVE S.
The difficulty of obtaining the arrears due to Sir
Richard Fanshawe were considerably increased by the
death of the Lord Treasurer, the Earl of Southampton,
father of Lady Russell. The widow says, " In conse-
quence of losing that good man and friend, my money,
which was five thousand six hundred pounds, was not
paid until 1669 ;" by this delay she sustained a loss of
two thousand pounds. She speaks with great bitterness
of Lord Shaftesbury, at whose instigation she was obliged
to pay two thousand pounds for the plate furnished to the
Her first object was to reduce her establishment accord-
ing to her altered r ortunes. She says, " As it is hard
for the rider to quit his horse in full career, so did I find
it very difficult to settle myself suddenly within the nar-
row compass my fortune required." But Lady Fanshawe
had too much rectitude of principle to live beyond her
income, however scanty. Even in the days of their ut-
most distress, ihey had never incurred debts ; a circum-
stance that was not a little remarkable when the poverty
of a large portion of the royalists was only exceeded by
their dissipation and dishonest extravagance.
Had it not have been for her children, the disconsolate
widow w 7 ould have withdrawn herself entirely from the
world ; she lived in as much seclusion as their education
and interests permitted.
Her father lost one hundred and thirty thousand pounds
in the royal cause ; but when he died in 1670, he was
enabled to leave her twenty thousand pounds, beside the
estates, which were inherited by her brother.
Lady Fanshawe was the mother of six sons and eight
daughters ; five of whom survived her.
She wrote her Memoir " for her dear and only son,"
in 1676 ; and died, January, 1680, in her fifty- fifth year.
WIFE OF JOHN FLAXMAN.
The name of John Flaxman is among the most dis-
tinguished of British Sculptors ; and after reading an
account of his life, by his eloquent biographer, Allan
Cunningham, one cannot refrain from believing that the
world never contained a better man.
His mind was earnest, enthusiastic, and highly poetic ;
his temper serene ; his affections warm and benevolent ;
and his whole character shone with the angelic light of
pure disinterestedness, and cheerful piety. Religion was
not with him a thing set apart for occasional use, regard-
ed only for the sake of the world's opinion, or because
the world has lost its attractions — it was the vivifying
principle of his existence — it guided every feeling, was
blended with every thought, and passed into every action.
In this dishonest, hypocritical world, a simple-minded,
sincere man must necessarily be considered very peculiar ;
and John Flaxman was so regarded. He was peculiar in
his religious opinions ; being a receiver of the doctrines
of the New Jerusalem, or, in other words, a believer in
the writings of Swedenborg. Much of the simplicity
and spirituality of his character is reflected in his mar-
bles and his drawings ; they are remarkable for an ex-
pression of serene loveliness and quiet devotion. His
favourite works were those by which he embodied passages
of Scripture. In early life, Flaxman was poor, and his
114 GOOD WIVES.
health feeble. He used to support himself by making
drawing and designs for the celebrated porcelain manu-
factory of the Wedgwoods. When he became eminent,
he loved to allude to these bumble labours of his early life ;
and since his death the models have been eagerly sought
after. But though Flaxman was largely endowed with
genius, he found no royal road to fame. He met with
mortifications and disappointments, and gained final suc-
cess only by the most laborious industry. " From his
twentieth to his twenty-seventh year, he lived, as all
young artists must do, who have no other fortune than
clear heads and clever hands. His labours for the Wedg-
woods maintained him ; but he was no lover of jovial
circles, and was abstemious in all things save a hunger-
ing and thirsting for knowledge."
" In the year 1782, when twenty-seven years old, he
quitted the paternal roof, hired a small house and studio
in Wardour street, collected a stock of choice models, set
his sketches in good order, and took unto himself a wife,
Ann Denman, one whom he had long loved, and one who
well deserved his affection. She was amiable and ac-
complished, had a taste for art and literature, was skilful
in French and Italian, and, like her husband, had ac-
quired some knowledge of the Greek. But what was
better than all, she was an enthusiastic admirer of his
genius — she cheered and encouraged him in his moments
of despondency — regulated modestly and prudently his
domestic economy — arranged his drawings — managed
now and then his correspondence, and acted in all particu-
lars so that it seemed as if the church, in performing a
marriage, had accomplished a miracle, and blended them
really into one flesh and one blood. That tranquillity of
mind, so essential to those who live by thought, was of
MRS. FLAX MAN. 115
his b(in<pho]d ; and the sculptor, hnppy in the company
of one who had taste and enthusiasm, soon renewed with
double »eal the stadies which cotrrtsilip and matrimony
had tor a tune interrupted. He had never doubted that
in the company of her whom he loved he should be able
to work with an intenscr spirit ; but of another opinion
was Sir Jadhua Reynolds. ' So, Flaxman,' said the
President one da v. as he chanced to meet him, ' I am told
you are married; if so, sir, I tell you you are ruined for
aU artist. Flaxman went home, sat down beside his wife,
took her hand, and said with a smile, * I am ruined for an
artist.' 'John,' said she, ' how has this happened, and
who has done it ?' ' It happened,' said he, ' in the church,
and Ann Denman has done it ; I met Sir Joshua Rey-
nolds just now, and he said marriage had ruined me in
" For a moment a cloud hung on Flaxman's brow ;
but this worthy couple understood each other too well, to
have their happiness seriously marred by the unguarded
and peevish remark of a wealthy old bachelor. They
were proud, determined people, who asked no one's ad-
vice, who shared their domestic secrets with none of their
neighbours, and lived as if they were unconscious that they
were in the midst of a luxurious city. * Ann,' said the
sculptor, ' I have long thought that I could not rise to dis-
tinction in art without studying in Italy, but these words
of Reynolds have determined me. I shall go to Rome as
soon as my affairs are fit to be left ; and to show him that
wedlock is for a man's good, rather than his harm, you
shall accompany me. If I remain here, I shall be accused
of ignorance concerning those noble works of art which
are to the sight of a sculptor what learning is to a man
of genius, and you will lie under the charge of detaining
116 GOOD WIVES.
me.' In this resolution Mrs. Flaxman fully concurred.
They resolved to prepare themselves in silence for the
journey, to inform no one of their intentions, and to set
meantime a still stricter watch over their expenditure.
No assistance was proffered by the Academy, nor was
any asked ; and five years elapsed, from the day of the
memorable speech of the President, before Flaxman, by
incessant study and labour, had accumulated the means of
departing for Italy.
" The image of Flaxman's household immediately after
his marriage is preserved in the description of one who
respected his genius and his worth. ' I remember him
well, so do I his wife, and also his humble little house in
Wardour street. All was neat, nay, elegant ; the figures
from which he studied were the fairest that could be had,
and all in his studio was propriety and order. But what
struck me most was that air of devout quiet which reign-
ed everywhere ; the models which he made, and the de-
signs which he drew, were not more serene than he was
himself; and his wife had that meek composure of man-
ner which he so much loved in art. Yet better than all,
was the devout feeling of this singular man ; there was
no ostentatious display of piety, nay, he was in some sort
a lover of mirth and sociality, but he was a reader of the
Scriptures, and a worshipper of sincerity, and if ever
purity visited the earth, she resided with John Flaxman.' "
At Rome, Flaxman, like most other artists, was obliged
to do something for his support. He was employed by
persons of his own nation to make illustrations of Homer,
iEschylus, and Dante. These splendid works procured
him extensive reputation.- " The Illustrations of Homer
were made for Mrs. Hare Nayler, at the price of some
fifteen shillings a-piece ; but the fame which they brought
MRS. FLAXMAN, 117
to the name of Flaxman was more than a recompense.
Long ere this time of life, he had shown, in numerous
instances, that he regarded gold only as a thing to barter
for food and raiment, and which enabled him to realize,
in benevolent deeds, the generous wishes of his heart.
As a fountain whence splendour, honour, and respect
might flow, he never considered it — and in a plain dress,
and from a frugal table, he appeared among the rich and
the titled, neither seeking their notice nor shunning it.
In all these sentiments his wife shared. Those who de-
sire to see Flaxman aright during his seven years' study
in Italy, must not forget to admit into the picture the
modest matron who was ever at his side, aiding him by
her knowledge and directing him by her taste. She was
none of those knowing dames who hold their lords in a
sort of invisible vassalage, or with submission on their
lips, and rebellion in their hearts, make the victim walk
as suits their sovereign will and pleasure. No — they
loved each other truly — they read the same books —
thought the same thoughts — prized the same friends —
and, like bones of the same bosom, were at peace with
each other, and had no wish to be separated. Their resi-
dence was in the Via Felice ; and all who wished to be
distinguished for taste or genius were visitors of the sculp-
tor's humble abode.
" After a residence of more than seven years in Rome,
Flaxman returned to England, hired a modest house in
Buckingham Street ; erected shops and studios ; arranged
his models and his marbles ; and resolved to try his for-
tune in poetic sculpture." " For this," says the poet
Campbell, " he had an expansion of fancy, elevation of
thought, a holy beauty of feeling. His female forms
may want finished luxuriance, but they have a charm
118 GOOD WIVES.
more expressive and inexpressible, from the vestal purity
of his sentiment, than finish could have given them."
Those who had hitherto supposed Sir Joshua Reynolds
was in the right, when he said wedlock must spoil Flax-
man for an artist, now began to think they could derive
some honour from being associated with him ; and he
was unanimously elected a member of the Royal Acad-
emy. His fame was now so well established, that he
might have associated with the noble and the wealthy
had his meek and placid character allowed him to form
such wishes. But he loved his home, and gave himself
up to the quiet, tasteful amusements of his own fireside.
Sir Thomas Lawrence said, " His solitude was made
enjoyment to him by a fancy teeming with images of
tenderness, purity, or grandeur.'' Drawing was at once
his business and his recreation. His biographer says,
" there is a prodigious affluence of imagination in all his
sketches and drawings ; and his shops, studio, and sketch-
books exhibit them in hundreds — nay, in thousands. To
name all his sketches would occupy many pages, and to
describe them, at the rate of five lines to each, would be
to compose a volume. Some of his illustrations of the
Pilgrim's Progress equal that religious romance in sim-
plicity, and far surpass it in loftiness ; something of the
same sort may be said of his designs for Sotheby's trans-
lation of Oberon — forty in number. But the work on
which his fancy most delighted to expatiate was Hesiod.
He loved the days of innocence and the age of gold, when
philosophers went barefooted, kings held the plough,
princesses washed their own linen, and poets sung, like
the northern minstrel, for food and raiment. There are
thirty-six illustrations ; and for simplicity, loveliness, and
grace, they fairly rival any of his other works."
MRS. FLAXMAN, 119
In dress Flaxman was as plain as if he belonged to the
Society of Friends. Unlike most of his brother artists,
he kept no coach or servants in livery. To the men he
employed, he was extremely liberal and kind. " When
they were ill, he continued their wages, and paid their
doctor's bill. He made himself acquainted with their
wants, and with their families, and aided them in the
roost agreeable and delicate way. If any of them were
unavoidably absent, he said, ' Providence made six days
for work in the week ; take your full wages.' He was
so generally beloved, and so widely known, that if you
stopped a tipsy mason in the street, and asked him what
he thought of John Flaxman, he would answer, ' The
best master God ever made.' No alloy of meanness min*
gled with his nature. He has been known to return part
of the money for a monument when he thought the price
An eminent artist said of him, " Flaxman is inaccessi-
ble either to censure or praise — he is proud but not shy ;
diffident but not retiring — as plain as a peasant in his
dress, and as humble as the rudest clown, yet even all
that unites in making up this remarkable mixture of sim-
plicity and genius — and were you to try any other ingre-
dients, may I be hanged if you would form so glorious a
creature !" He paused a little, and added, " I wish he
would not bow so low to the lowly — his civility oppresses."
A distinguished sculptor being asked concerning Flax-
man's mode of study and his conversation, replied, " I can-
not tell you. He lived as if he did not belong to the
world — his ways were not our ways. He had odd fash-
ions — he dressed — you know how he dressed ; he dined
at one — wrought after dinner, which no other artist does
— drank tea at six ; and then, sir, no one ever found him
120 GOOD WIVES.
in the evening parties of the rich or the noble : he was
happy at home, and so he kept himself; of all the mem-
bers of the Academy, the man whom I know least of is
His conversation was more frequently lively, gay, and
eloquent than serious. The following circumstance will
give an idea of the sports of fancy in which he sometimes
indulged. He once bought a small Chinese casket, of
very rich workmanship, and gave it to his wife and sis-
ter. The ladies placed it upon the table before them,
and while the sculptor was sketching, began to talk about
the present. " This is a pretty thing," said one, " and
not made yesterday either : its history must be curious."
" Curious, no doubt," said the other, " we can easily make
a history for it. What is it without its genealogy ? — was
it not made in the reign of the illustrious Ching-Fu, by
one of the muses of China, to hold the golden maxims
of Confucius ?" " And obtained in barter," continued
the other, " for glass beads and twopenny knives, by one
of those wandering genii called in Britain trading cap-
tains ?" Flaxman smiled at this history, and forthwith
set to work with pen and pencil.
He composed a poem of some hundred lines describ-
ing the adventures of the casket. A princess of China
is informed by a nightingale that there is a splendid cas-
ket in the bowers of paradise, guarded by genii — she ob-
tains the wonderful treasure — a magician, riding through
the air on winged tigers, washes to fill the box with spells
and magic — The princess and her sisters hurl the en-
chanter down amid hissing serpents and sulphurous flame.
The casket is deposited on Mount Hermon — the genii
bestow it on a good poet, who fills it with virtuous max-
ims and verses, and an angel guards it. The poet dies,
MRS. FLAXMAN. 121
and another has possession of it ; at first his strains are
pure and virtuous ; but he indulges in wanton thoughts,
and indignant angels snatch the casket away — They float
through the air with the precious burden, and deliver it to
the sea-maids and tritons, who with shout and song con-
vey it across the ocean ; the Genius of the British Isle
finally receives it. Ten sketches in pencil illustrated the
A similar effort of his genius, was dedicated to his
wife, in a manner alike affectionate and tasteful.
He caused a quarto volume to be made, in which he
wrote the story and illustrated the adventures of a Chris-
tian hero, who goes out into the world to protect the
weak, aid the suffering, and punish the bad. Tempta-
tions in every form surround him — good and evil spirits
contend for victory — his own passions are around him in
terrific shapes — he follows a guardian angel, and escapes
all dangers — becomes a purified spirit, and is commission-
ed to watch over the good on earth. In this capacity he
spreads spiritual light around, watches over innocence,
and protects the oppressed.
The sketches, which are forty in number, are delicate,
graceful, full of poetic beauty, and surrounded as it were,
by a serene and holy atmosphere. " On the first page
of this book was drawn a dove, with an olive-branch in
her mouth ; an angel is on each side, and between is
written, ' To Ann Flaxman ;' below, two hands are clasp-
ed, as at the altar, two cherubs bear a garland, and the
following inscription to his wife introduces the subject :
* The anniversary of your birthday calls on me to be
grateful for fourteen happy years passed in your society.
Accept the tribute of these sketches, which, under the al-
legory of a knight errant's adventures, indicate the trials
122 GOOD WIVES.
of virtue and the conquest of vice, preparatory to a hap-
pier state of existence.' After the hero is called to the
spiritual world, and blest with a celestial union, he is
armed with power, for the exercise of his ministry, and
for fulfilling the dispensations of Providence ; he becomes
the associate of Faith, Hope, and Charity, and, as uni-
versal Benevolence, is employed in acts of mercy. John
Flaxman, October 2, 1796."
" For thirty-eight years Flaxman lived wedded. His
health was generally good, his spirits ever equal ; and
his wife, to whom his fame was happiness, had been al-
ways at his side. She was a most cheerful, intelligent
woman, a collector too of drawings and sketches, and an
admirer of Stothard, of whose designs and prints she had
amassed more than a thousand. Her husband paid her
the double respect due to affection and talent, and when
any difficulty in composition occurred, he would say, with
a smile, ' Ask Mrs. Flaxman, she is my dictionary.' She
maintained the simplicity and dignity of her husband,
and refused all presents of paintings, or drawings, or
books, unless some reciprocal interchange were made.
It is almost needless to say that Flaxman loved such a
woman very tenderly. The hour of their separation ap-
proached — she fell ill and died in the year 1820, and from
the time of this bereavement something like a lethargy
came over his spirit.
" He was now in his sixty-sixth year, and surrounded
with the applause of the world. His studios were filled
with orders and commissions. His sister — a lady of taste
and talent like his own — and his wife's sister, were of his
household ; but she who had shared all his joys and sor-
rows was gone, and nothing could comfort him."
He continued, however, the same habits of industry,
MRS. FLAXMAN. 123
the same kind interest in the situation and wishes of oth-
ers, the same cheerful intercourse with his few cherished
friends. His health was feeble, but he suffered little.
One morning a stranger called upon him, and, present-
ing a book, said, " This work was sent to you by an Ital-
ian artist, and I am requested to apologise for its extraordi-
nary dedication. It was generally believed throughout
Italy that you were dead ; and my friend, wishing to
show the world how much he esteemed your genius,
has inscribed his book ■ Al omlra di Flaxman? [To the
shade of Flaxman.] No sooner was it published, than
the report of your death was contradicted ; and the author,
affected by his mistake, (which he rejoices to find a mis-
take) begs you will receive his work as an apology."
Flaxman smiled — accepted the volume with unaffected
modesty, and mentioned the circumstance as curious to
his own family, and some of his friends."
This singular occurrence happened on the 2d of De-
cember. The next day he took a cold, from which he
never recovered. He died peacefully, as he had lived.
The following words are inscribed on his tomb.
" John Flaxman, R. A. P. S., whose mortal life was
a constant preparation for a blessed immortality ; his
angelic spirit returned to the Divine Giver, on the 7th of
December, 1826, in the seventy-second year of his age."
" Peace be with the memory of him who died," as Sir
Thomas Lawrence happily said, " in his own small circle
of affection ; enduring pain, but full of meekness, grati-
tude, and faith !"
WIFE OF WILLIAM BLAKE.
William Blake, the "painter, was the intimate friend
of Flaxman, and was one of the most singular men that
ever lived. All his productions whether of the pen, or
the pencil, were characterized by a sublime mistiness, a
wild obscurity, a strange incomprehensible beauty. It
seemed as if he were a spirit returned from the regions
of the dead, bringing with him recollections too glorious
and too awful to be embodied by human genius, yet
through his whole life struggling to express his concep-
tions, as we strive to speak in our dreams.
He lived in a visionary world, and, according to his own
account, visions were ever around him. One evening
when a friend called upon him he whispered, " Disturb
me not, I have one sitting to me." " I see no one !" ex-
claimed his friend. " But I see him, sir/' answered
Blake ; " There he is — his name is Lot ; you may read
of him in the Scripture. He is sitting for his portrait."
Innumerable were the spiritual visitants, whom he por-
trayed on canvas. He had a very rich and peculiar mode
of engraving and tinting his plates, which he said was
revealed to him by the spirit of his deceased brother ; he
kept the secret to himself, and other artists have been
unable to discover it.
His poetic mind threw its own glowing colouring over
the most ordinary occurrences of life. " Did you ever
MRS. BLAKE. 125
see a fairy's funeral, madam?" he once said to a lady,
who happened to sit by him in company. " Never, sir !'
was the answer. " 1 have," said Blake, " but not before
last night. I was walking alone in my garden, there
was great stillness among the branches and flowers, and
more than common sweetness in the air; I heard a low
and pleasant sound, and I knew not whence it came. At
last I saw the broad leaf of a flower move, and underneath
I saw a procession of creatures of the size and colour of
green and gray grasshoppers, bearing a body laid out on
a rose leaf, which they buried with songs, and then dis-
appeared. It was a fairy funeral."
His high aspirations and brilliant fancies must have
come from the world within him ; for he had few oppor-
tunities to observe those beautiful and magnificent pro-
ductions, in which genius has given shadowy revelations
of what it has dreamed in heaven.
His earlier and his later lot w T as poverty. He was in-
dustrious ; but he would work in his own wild freedom, and
patrons did not understand him. Besides, he considered
a love of gain as the destroying angel of all that is god-
like in human nature. " Were I to love money," he
said, " I should lose all power of thought; desire of gain
deadens the genius of man. I might roll in wealth and
ride in a golden chariot, w r ere I to listen to the voice of
parsimony. My business is not to gather gold, but to
make glorious shapes, expressing godlike sentiments."
His father was a respectable hosier, who intended his
son for the same trade ; but between the rival attractions
of poetry and painting, the lad was, as the Scotch say,
"clean daft;" and it was deemed prudent to apprentice
him to an engraver. I will give the account of his mar-
riage in the words of Allan Cunningham : for the simple
reason that it is impossible for me to do it so well,
" When he was six-and-twenty years old, he married
Katharine Boutcher, a young woman of humble connex-
ions, the dark-eyed Kate of several of his lyric poems.
She lived near his father's house, and was noticed by
Blake for the whiteness of her hand, the brightness of
her eyes, and a slim and handsome shape, corresponding
with his own notions of sylphs and naiads. As he was
an original in all things, it would have been out of char-
acter to fall in love like an ordinary mortal : he was de-
scribing one evening in company the pains he had suf-
fered from some capricious lady or another, when Kath-
arine Boutcher said, ' I pity you from my heart.' ' Do
you pity me ?' said Blake, ' then I love you for that/
' And I love you,' said the frank-hearted lass, and so the
courtship began. He tried how well she looked in a
drawing, then how her charms became verse ; and find-
ing moreover that she had good domestic qualities, he
married her. They lived together long and happily.
" She seemed to have been created on purpose for
Blake : she believed him to be the finest genius on earth;
she believed in his verse ; she believed in his designs ;
and to the wildest flights of his imagination she bowed
the knee and was a worshipper. She set his house in
good order, prepared his frugal meal, learned to think as
he thought, and, indulging him in his harmless absurdi-
ties, became, as it were, bone of his bone, and flesh of
his flesh. She learned — what a young and handsome
woman is seldom apt to learn — to despise gaudy dresses,
costly meals, pleasant company, and agreeable invitations
— she found out the way of being happy at home, living
on the simplest of food, and contented in the homeliest
MRS BLAKE. 127
of clothing. It was no ordinary mind which could do
all this ; and she whom Blake emphatically called his
* beloved,' was no ordinary woman. She wrought off in
the press the impressions of his plates — she coloured
them with a light and neat hand — made drawings much
in the spirit of his compositions, and almost rivalled him
in all things, save in the power which he possessed of
seeing visions of any individual living or dead, whenever
he chose to see them.
" Many of his noblest productions were accomplished
' in a small room, which served him for kitchen, bed-
chamber, and study, where he had no other companion
but his faithful Katharine, and no larger income than
seventeen or eighteen shillings a week.' He was not a
man to grow rich as he grew older, and he must have
suffered in the decline of life, had not his brother artists
assisted him. Engraving by day, and seeing visions by
night, he attained his seventy-first year, and the strength
of nature was fast yielding. Yet he was to the last
cheerful and contented. ' I glory, 5 he said, ' in dying,
and have no grief but in leaving you, Katharine ; we
have lived happy, and we have lived long ; we have been
ever together, but we shall be divided soon. Why should
I fear death ? nor do I fear it. I have endeavoured to
live as Christ commands, and have sought to worship
God truly — in my own house, when I was not seen of
men.' He grew weaker and weaker — he could no longer
sit upright ; and was laid in his bed, with no one to
watch over him, save his wife, who, feeble and old her-
self, required help in such a touching duty."
The Ancient of Days was such a favourite with Blake,
that three days before his death, he sat bolstered up in
bed, and tinted with his choicest colours, and in his hap-
128 GOOD WIVES
piest style. He touched and retouched it — held it at arm's
length, and then threw it from him, exclaiming, " There !
that will do ! I cannot mend it." He saw his wife in
tears — she felt that this was to be the last of his works.
" Stay, Kate ! " cried Blake, " keep just as you are —
I will draw your portrait — for you have ever been an
angel to me." She obeyed, and the dying artist made a
The very joyfulness with which this singular man
welcomed the coming of death, made his dying moments
intensely mournful. He lay chanting songs, and the
verses and the music were both the offspring of the mo-
ment. He lamented that he could no longer commit
those inspirations, as he called them, to paper. " Kate,"
he said, " I am a changing man — I always rose and wrote
down my thoughts, whether it rained, snowed, or shone;
and you arose too and sat beside me — this can be no
longer." He died on the 12th of August, 1828, without
any visible pain — his wife, who sat watching him, did
not perceive when he ceased breathing.
WIFE OF MARTIN LUTHER.
It would be unnecessary to speak of Luther as a Re-
former, even if the characters and proceedings of public
men were connected with the purposes of this volume :
his biography forms a part of the world's history, and
marks one of the grandest epochs in the progress of the
human mind. We hardly need to be told that he was
learned, enthusiastic and daring; for we instantly feel
that none but such a man could, or would, have under-
taken the great work he performed. The reformation of
extensive evils, — evils sanctioned by self-interest and susr
tained by power, — has always been effected by indivi-
duals bold and zealous even to rashness. The timid and
the cautious fall into the ranks when the danger is over,
and often share the triumph ; but what the world calls
" a prudent man," would never answer for a pioneer in
the cause either of civil or religious liberty. There is
always a vast mass of energy and talent lying latent in
the community; and it is a beautiful feature in God's
providence, that the progress of events inevitably pro-
duces the very characters, and elicits the very qualities,
that are most needed.
In the sixteenth century, a strong and fearless champion
was required against the insupportable tyranny and gross
corruptions of the Church of Rome ; and the excess of
papal pride prepared the way for its own destruction by
kindling the impetuous indignation of Martin Luther.
130 GOOD WIVES.
Fortunately for the world, the active mind of this great
man, was never subjected to the enervating influences of
wealth and luxury. He was born in an obscure village
of Saxony, in the year 1483 ; his father was a miner.
At fourteen years of age when he was at school in Eisen-
ach, he was obliged with other poor students, to gain a
living by singing before the doors of houses. He used
to call this " bread music." But although he had an
uncommonly fine voice, he did not always obtain a sup-
per for a song ; and sometimes he met with proud refus-
als, and unkind reproaches, exceedingly grievous to his
noble and independent nature. One day when he was
entirely overcome with dejection, and' shame, the wife of
a worthy citizen, named Conrad Cotta, took pity upon
him, and refreshed him liberally with food. His man-
ners prepossessed the good woman so much in his favour
that she obtained her husband's permission to take him
into the house, and provide for him until he was fitted
for the university.
After staying three years at Eisenach, he went to the
University of Erfurt. Here he soon became renowned
for his scholarship. It was his father's wish that he
should study law ; but several fits of illness, and the loss
of an intimate friend, who was struck dead at his side by
lightning, spread something of gloom over his mind, and
he suddenly resolved to become a monk. His parents, who
were very pious and sensible people, tried in vain to dis-
suade him from what he deemed a conscientious sacrifice
to God. He strictly fulfilled his monastic duties, even to
the humiliating task of standing porter at the door, and
going through the town to beg alms for the convent ; but
it was a course of life which ill-suited his free and active
temper; and a heaviness, which he could not dispel, took
possession of his spirit.
MME. LUTHER. 131
He was removed from these depressing influences by
the friendship of a nobleman, who recommended him as
a public teacher of philosophy in the University at Wit-
temberg. Here his mind, no longer cramped by unnatu-
ral circumstances, resumed its expansive power ; and his
learning and eloquence soon gained him friends among
the powerful and distinguished. A mission to Rome
gave him but too many proofs of the profligacy and hy-
pocrisy then prevailing in the church, and he expressed
his opinion without respect of persons. By degrees he
became engaged in an angry controversy. The Pope
tried to overawe him ; but Luther had a spirit that would
not bend, and could not be broken. Some of the Ger-
man princes, and a large body of the people, tired of papal
oppression, sincerely wished well to Luther and his cause.
Emboldened by safety and success, he went on attacking
one after another, the strong holds of Catholic power.
The Pope issued decrees forbidding all people to read his
writings, and threatening him with excommunication, and
the sentence of outlawry, (by which any one who met
him had a right to kill him,) if he did not recant what he
had written. The Emperor Charles the Fifth being called
upon to put his threat in execution, summoned Luther to
appear before a Diet at Worms. His friends earnestly
entreated him not to go, believing he would not return
alive ; but the undaunted reformer replied, " I will go, if
there be as many devils at Worms as there are tiles on
the roofs of the houses."
He maintained his cause with firmness and eloquence ;
concluding by saying, " I neither can nor will recant,
because it is not safe, or advisable, to do anything which
is against my own conscience. Here I stand, I cannot do
otherwise, so help me God ! Amen."
132 GOOD WIVES.
Many of his enemies tried to persuade Charles the
Fifth to break the promise he had given, that Luther
should be safety conveyed home ; telling him he was
under no obligation to keep his word to a heretic ; but to
this the Emperor replied, " What is promised must be
performed. And even if the whole world should lie,
princes ought to adhere to the truth."
Luther accordingly departed from Worms under the pro-
tection of a strong escort, after having received the most flat-
tering attentions from several princes, and persons of dis-
tinction. A singular circumstance occurred while he was
dining with the Elector of Treves ; just as he was raising
a glass of wine to his lips, the glass suddenly shivered
into atoms. It was a prevalent opinion among the guests
that some kind of strong poison had been infused into the
On his way home he was attacked by a couple of
knights, taken prisoner, and conveyed to the Castle of
Wartburg. This proved, however, to be the friendly
interference of the Elector of Saxony, who wished to
secrete him for a time from the active hatred of the
Catholics. At the Castle, he was known only by the
name of Sir George ; and elsewhere it was generally be-
lieved he had been killed, or taken prisoner by his ene-
mies. Here he began his translation of the New Testa-
ment ; and by his exertions the Bible was distributed
among a mass of benighted people, to whom it had been
expressly forbidden by the priests.
It was the policy of the ignorant and insidious monks
of that day to keep the people in darkness ; one of them
says, " I observe in the hands of many persons a bo k
which they call the New Testament. It is a book full of
daggers and poison. As to the Hebrew, my dear breth-
MME. LUTHER 133
ren, it is certain that whoever learns it becomes imme-
diately a Jew."
Such teachers of course had a most unbounded dislike
to the man who had both the will and the courage to
spread light among the people ; and it is no wonder that
numerous attempts were made to assassinate him. In
this perilous situation his life could not have been saved,
had not God so disposed the hearts of princes, that they
wished to preserve him as a salutary check against the
tyranny of the pope.
In one form the power of the church was severely felt,
by innumerable victims of both sexes. The revenues
of the church, and the strength of its influence, were pro-
digiously increased by monastic institutions; hence it
became a matter of policy to decoy young persons into
toils from which they could never escape. All the awful,
and all the seductive power of the Catholic religion was
used to effect this purpose. The young girl, just emerg-
ing from childhood, was taught that there was something
holy and beautiful in being the bride of Heaven. The
ceremony of taking the veil was invested with all the
pomp and gayety of a wedding ; the brain of the young
victim was made giddy with her own momentary import-
ance, and the splendid preparations for her spiritual nup-
tials ; music lent its powerful aid to a species of mental
intoxication, in which human vanity was strangely blend-
ed with feelings more holy and mysterious ; and in this
delirium of fancy and of feeling, the simple maiden took
the solemn vow, which forever separated her from all the
best and purest hopes of the human heart. It was indeed
possible to return to the world after the veil of probation-
ship had been fastened on the innocent head by a wreath
of flowers ; but public opinion branded such a step as
134 GOOD WIVES,
capricious and impious, and the priests declared that it
drew down the vengeance of an offended God. How
could a timid girl be expected to brave at once the terrors
of earth and Heaven ? With few exceptions they linger-
ed on — and took the perpetual vow — and learned too late
that the human heart must have human affections. Some
were no doubt comparatively happy ; but by far the
greater part passed their existence in a perpetual strug-
gle between the natural yearnings of the heart, and the
unnatural duties imposed upon them by their religion.
And to these deluded victims were added many unwilling
ones, forced into monastic seclusion by ambitious parents,
who were desirous to concentrate their wealth and honours
upon one favoured child.
The spirit of light and liberty diffused by Luther, found
its way even into the dark recesses of the cloister. It
became no uncommon thing for monks to quit their pro-
fession ; and at last woman's feebler nature arose and
shook off the yoke that had broken many a pure and lov-
ing heart. In 1523, nine nuns escaped from the Convent
of Nimptschen, near Grimma. This event of course pro-
duced a great excitement ; even the princes who were
favourable to the reformed religion did not dare to protect
the fugitives openly.
But Luther, as usual, scorned to proceed with caution.
He wrote and spoke boldly in defence of the nuns, and
praised those who had assisted them to escape. He even
went so far as to throw off the monastic habit, which he
had continued to wear until that time. Among the nuns
was Catherine de Bora, a handsome woman, of highly
respectable family, who became the object of a very strong
and enduring attachment on the part of Luther. Some
lingering prejudices concerning the propriety of marriage
MME. LUTHER. 135
between a monk and nun induced him to repress his
f»e!ings for a time. But finding nothing in Scripture to
support his scruples, and being strongly urged to it by his
revered parents, he suddenly resolved to marry. He was
united to Catherine de Bora in 1525 ; the bridegroom was
forty-two years old, and the bride twenty-six. Considering
the state of public opinion at that period, the power and
rage of his enemies, and his own want of fortune, it was
certainly a very bold step ; but it was one which he never
repented. The advocates of the Romish church took
this occasion to pour forth a fresh torrent of abuse. Some
affirmed that he was insane ; others that he was possess-
ed by an evil spirit; and many loaded both him and his
wife with epithets which it would pollute these pages to
quote. The storm raged with such fury, that even the
courageous Luther was a little disheartened at first. He
says, " My marriage has made me so despicable, that I
hope my humiliation will rejoice the angels and vex the
But a man conscious of thoroughly upright motives
cannot long be put out of countenance by the injustice of
public opinion. Catherine proved a helpmate indeed ;
and in her faithful love, he found perpetual consolation.
Her unremitting tenderness during his frequent attacks
of illness, called forth his warmest gratitude ; and when
he spoke of her to his friends, her name was always
coupled with the most affectionate expressions.
In a temperament like his, disease naturally induced
occasional gloom and petulance, which she bore with the
most unvarying good temper ; always exerting her influ-
ence to soothe and enliven him. By these means she
obtained such hold upon his affections, that he was wont
to compare his greatest temporal blessings with her. His
136 GOOD WIVES.
favourite production was his Commentary on Galatians :
and he showed his preference by always calling it " his
Catherine de Bora."
He was apt to linger long in the company of his wife
and children, and never denied himself this gratification
except when he was engaged in finishing some great
work. Once, he locked himself up in his study and re-
mained three days and three nights without any other
nourishment than bread and water. For sometime his
wife refrained from disturbing him ; but finding her re-
peated calls at the door unanswered, she became very
much alarmed, and at last persuaded some persons to
break into the room. Luther was at his writing-desk
entirely absorbed in meditation when they entered. At
first he was displeased at the intrusion, and said to her,
" Do you not know that I must work while it is day, for
the night cometh wherein no one can work ?" But his
heart was soon touched, when she told him how much
anxiety he had caused her. Like most courageous and
enthusiastic men, Luther had a heart as docile and affec-
tionate as a little child. He could never see his wife or
children suffer, without shedding tears ; and once, when
he was spectator of a chase, he tried to save the life, of a
poor little trembling hare, by wrapping it in his cloak :
the dogs, however, discovered it, and killed it.
His disposition was frank and social, and his conversa-
tion was alike distinguished for learning and playfulness.
He was no friend to large parties. He once said, " I
waste a great deal of time by going to entertainments.
I do not know what devil has given rise to this custom.
I cannot well refuse to go to them, but at the same time
it is a great disadvantage to me."
He had nevertheles a keen relish for social intercourse,
MME. LUTHER. 137
and his friends delighted to see him in his own domestic
circle. His affectionate deportment as a husband and
father mingled beautifully with his religious exercises,
and threw something of sunshine about his home.
He was exceedingly fond of music, and insisted that
it had great power in producing pious and elevated
thoughts ; in his hours of dejection nothing soothed him
so effectually. In the evening he always sang a hymn
before he parted from his family and friends.^
Gardening was likewise a favourite amusement with
him. Writing to a friend to procure him some seeds, he
says, " While Satan rages, I will laugh at him, and en-
joy my Creator in the garden."
He and his student Wolfgang, once busied themselves
in learning the turner's trade. " My reasons," said he,
" are that if it should so happen, that the world would
not support us, for the sake of the Word of God, we
might be able to earn our bread by the labour of our
External honours were of little value in Luther's esti-
mation. He reproved popes and princes as freely as if
they had been common men ; and his manner toward
his inferiors was always meek and affable. A coachman,
who had carried certain persons to Wittemberg, had a
strong desire to see " the true pope" as Luther was then
generally called by the people.
Having asked leave, he was readily introduced into
the house, and, in a respectful and bashful manner, took
his station by the door. Luther, perceiving his shyness,
went up to him, shook his hand very cordially, invited
him to the table, drank to his health, and handed him his
* It is generally supposed that Luther composed the popular
tune called Old Hundred.
138 GOOD WIVES.
own glass, which in those days was considered a peculiar
honour. The man was delighted, and boasted every-
where that he had sat at the same table with Doctor Mar-
Luther deemed it a duty to be with his children a
good deal. He used to say, " We must often prattle with
children, and thus come to their assistance in whatever is
good.' 1 He was a fond but very strict father. Once
when his son had committed a fault, he would neither
see, nor hear of him, for three days ; yet this was his
favourite child, whom he always called " his Johnny." —
" I," said Luther, " would fain see one that could make
these two agree together, to be joyful, and to be afraid.
I cannot behave myself in that manner toward God ; but
my little son, John, can show himself so toward me ; for
when I sit in my study, and write or do something else,
then my boy sings me a song ; and when he will be too
loud, then I check him a little ; yet nevertheless, he sing-
eth on, but with a more mild and softer tone, and some-
what with fear and reverence. Even so will God like-
wise have us to do ; that we should always rejoice in
Him, yet with fear and reverence."
Luther had no taste for luxury and parade ; his manner
of living was simple in the extreme. When advised to
lay up something for his children, he replied, " That will
I not do ; for else will they not rely on God and their
hands, but on their gold."
In all respects Luther's wishes were a law to his wife ;
and he, on his part, seems to have mingled no small de-
gree of respect with his affection for her. We are not
informed whether she was a woman of strong intellect ;
but it is to be supposed that she was sensible, as well as
affectionate, else such a man as Luther would not have
M M £ . LUTHER. 139
delisjhted so much in her company. A learned English
gentleman, who often dined with them, spoke German
imperfectly. " I will give you my wife for a schoolmis-
tress," said the reformer ; " she shall teach you to speak
Dutch purely and readily; for she is very eloquent, and
so perfect therein, that she far surpasseth me."
In a letter to Stifelius, he says, " My rib, Kate, salutes
you, and thanks you for the favour of your kind letter.
She is very well, through God's mercy; and is obedient
and complying with me in all things, and more agreea-
ble, I thank God, than I could have expected ; so that I
would not change my poverty for the wealth of Croesus."
He often said he would not exchange his wife for the
kingdom of France, or the riches of Venice ; and that
for three good reasons. 1. Because she was given him
at the time when he implored the assistance of God in
finding a good wife ; 2. Because, though she was not
faultless, she had fewer faults than any other woman ;
3. Because she had been very faithful in her affection to
Luther's constitution was enfeebled by frequent illness
and severe pain. In January, 1546, he thus addresses
a friend. " I write to you though old, decrepit, inactive,
languid, and now possessed of only one eye. When
drawing to the brink of the grave, I had hopes of obtain-
ing a reasonable share of rest ; but I continue to be over-
powered with writing, preaching, and business, in the same
manner as if I had not discharged my part in these duties
in the early period of life."
Yet six days after writing this, he had energy enough
to undertake a journey to Eisleben, his native place, in
order to decide a dispute concerning the brass and silver
mines in that place. He was accompanied by his three
140 GOOD WIVES
sons, and the Counts of Mansfield came with a hundred
horsemen to meet him.
This journey was his last. He died at Eisleben after
a brief illness. In his will he spoke of his wife with
great tenderness ; praising her integrity, modesty and
fidelity — and testifying that she had truly loved him, and
faithfully served him. To her he left what little property
he possessed. His body was carried to Wittemberg, and an
oration pronounced by his dearly beloved friend, Melanc-
thon. The funeral was conducted with pomp better suited
to his great reputation than to his own simple habits
while living. Princes, nobles, professors, students, and
an immense concourse of people followed him to the
The year after his death, when the troops of Charles
the Fifth quartered in Wittemberg, a soldier gave Lu-
ther's effigy two stabs with his dagger ; and the Spaniards
were very desirous of having the monument of the here-
tic demolished, and his bones burned. The emperor
nobly replied, " Luther is now subject to another Judge,
whose jurisdiction it is not for me to usurp. I war not
with the dead."
The widow survived nearly seven years, and died at
Torgau in 1552.
His children, consisting of three sons and a daughter,
were saved from poverty by the generosity of the Elector
of Saxony and the Counts of Mansfield.
WIFE OF JOHN FREDERIC OBERLIN.
John Frederic Oberlin was the pastor of Walbach,
an obscure village in the north-eastern part of France,
situated in the Ban de la Roche, or Steintahl, which sig-
nifies the Valley of Stones. From his childhood to the day
of his death, he was remarkable for his disinterestedness.
He lived only to do good. He refused more eligible
situations, for the sake of leading an humble and laborious
life in the Ban de la Roche, simply because the people
were very poor and very ignorant, and he could nowhere
else be so useful.
Here he made himself the companion and friend of
the peasantry ; he not only taught them the way of sal-
vation, but instructed their children-; introduced the
sciences and mechanical arts among them ; projected
roads over places hitherto deemed impassable ; and him-
self sallied forth with a pick-axe on his shoulder, to assist
in making them. Under his instruction the people be-
came at once pious and enlightened. They all called
him father, and he regarded them as his family. He
lived among them in such a state of patriarchal purity,
simplicity, and affection, that we almost wonder angels
did not visit him, as they did Abraham of old. Little
will here be said of the wonderful exertions, and animated
piety of this excellent man, because his memoirs have
lately been republished by the Rev. Henry Ware, Jr.
142 GOOD WIVES.
It is a book of blessed influence ; making one feel as if
a spirit like a dove had folded its soft wings over the
The circumstances of his wedded life are peculiarly
appropriate to this volume. Before he settled in the Ban
de la Roche, his mother was very anxious that he should
find a companion, to cheer his loneliness and relieve him
from domestic cares. His own feelings were not par-
ticularly interested on the subject ; but in order to please
his mother, he was willing to marry the daughter of a
rich widow, whom she recommended.
But in all the concerns of life, it was his practice to
wait for some intimation from Divine Providence. In
this instance, he earnestly prayed that God would direct
his judgment. If the mother of the young lady first
made the proposition to him,^ he resolved to consider it
a sign that the marriage ought to take place. He visited
the house, and received a courteous reception ; but the
conversation was -entirely confined to topics of ordinary
interest. He considered this as an indication of Provi-
dence, and went no more.
His parents afterward proposed another connexion,
which they thought would be conducive to his happiness.
He had esteemed the young lady for a long time, and
had a great friendship, for her father ; but his affections
appear to have been in a very passive state. The parents
drew up a marriage contract, to which the younger par-
ties assented. But a more wealthy suitor was preferred,
and Oberlin relinquished his claims. In a few weeks
the young lady's father wrote him a letter, asking to have
* We must recollect that it is common in France for parents to
manage matrimonial contracts.
MME. OBERLIN. 143
the connexion renewed. Obcrlin replied that his friend-
ship was unabated, but he considered the circumstances
which had occurred, a direct intimation from Providence
that the marriage would not be for the good, either of
himself, or the lady.
A warm friendship continued to exist between the
families, but the union was no more thought of.
The younger sister of Oberlin accompanied him to
Waldbach, and took charge of his domestic concerns.
When he had resided there about a year, a relative from
Strasbourg, (their native place,) named Madeleine Sa-
lome Witter, came to visit Sophia Oberlin. She was a
woman of religious principle, and her mind was highly
cultivated ; but her habits were at that time more expen-
sive, and she cared more about the world, than did her
meek and simple cousin Frederic ; nevertheless, he be-
came convinced that she was made for him. Two days
before her intended departure, a voice seemed to whisper
distinctly, " Take her for thy partner ! " " It is impossi-
ble," thought he ; " our dispositions do not agree. Still
the secret voice whispered, " Take her for thy partner ! "
He slept little that night ; and in his morning prayer, he
earnestly entreated God to give him a sign whether this
event was in accordance with the Divine will ; solemnly
declaring that if Madeleine acceded to the proposition
with great readiness, he should consider the voice he
had heard as a leading of Providence.
He found his cousin in the garden, and immediately
began the conversation by saying, " You are about to
leave us, my dear friend. I have received an intimation
that you are destined to be the partner of my life. Be-
fore you go, will you give me your candid opinion
whether you can resolve upon this step?"
144 GOOD WIVES.
With blushing frankness, Madeleine placed her hand
within his ; and then he knew that she would be his
They were married on the sixth of July, 1768. Miss
Witter had always resolved not to marry a clergyman ;
but she was devotedly attached to her excellent husband,
and cordially assisted in all his plans. No dissatisfaction
at her humble lot, no complaints of the arduous duties
belonging to their peculiar situation, marred their mutual
happiness. They were far removed from the vain ex-
citements, and tinsel splendour of the world ; they were
surrounded by the rude, illiterate peasantry ; and every
step in improvement was contested by ignorance and pre-
judice ; but they were near each other, and both were
near to God.
The following prayer, written soon after their union,
shows what spirit pervaded their peaceful dwelling.
Prayer of Oberlin and his Wife, for the Blessing and
Grace of God.
* Holy Spirit ! descend into our hearts ; assist us to
pray with fervour from our inmost souls. Permit thy
children, oh, gracious Father, to present themselves be-
fore thee, in order to ask of thee what is necessary for
them. May we love each other only in thee, and in our
Saviour Jesus Christ, as being members of his body.
Enable us at all times to look solely to thee, to walk be-
fore thee, and to be united together in thee ; that thus
we may grow daily, in the spiritual life.
" Grant that we may be faithful in the exercise of our
duties, that we may stimulate each other therein, warn-
ing each other of our faults, and seeking together for
pardon in the blood of Jesus Christ. When we pray
MME. OBERLIN. 145
together, (and may we pray much and frequently) be
thou, O Lord Jesus, with us ; kindle our fervour, O Hea-
venly Father, and grant us, for the sake of Jesus Christ,
whatever thy Holy Spirit shall teach us to ask.
" Seeing that in this life, thou hast placed the mem-
bers of our household under our authority, give us wis-
dom and strength to guide them in a manner conformable
to thy will. May we always set them a good example,
following that of Abraham, who commanded his children
and his household after him, to keep the way of the
Lord, in doing what is right. If thou givest us children,
and preservest them to us, grant us grace to bring them
up to thy service, to teach them early to know, to fear,
and to love thee, and to pray to that God who has made
a covenant with them, that, conformably to the engage-
ment which will be undertaken for them at their baptism,
they may remain faithful from the cradle to the grave.
O Heavenly Father, may we inculcate thy word, accord-
ing to thy will, all our lives, with gentleness, love and
patience, both at their rising up and lying down, at home
and abroad, and under all circumstances ; and do thou
render it meet for the children to whom thou hast given
life only as a means of coming to thee.
" And when we go together to the Holy Supper, O
ever give us renewed grace, renewed strength, and re-
newed courage, for continuing to walk in the path to
heaven ; and, as we can only approach thy table four
times in the year, grant that in faith we may much more
frequently be there, yes, every day and every hour ; that
we may always keep death in view, and always be pre-
pared for it; and if we may be permitted to solicit it of
thee, O grant that we may not long be separated from
146 GOOD WIVES.
each other, but that the death of the one may be speedily,
and very speedily, followed by that of the other.
" Hear, O gracious Father, in the name of Jesus
Christ, thy well-beloved son. And, merciful Redeem-
er, may we both love thee with ardent devotion, always
walking and holding communion with thee, not placing
our confidence in our own righteousness and in our own
works, but only in thy blood and in thy merits. Be with
us; preserve us faithful; and grant, Lord Jesus, that
we may soon see thee. Holy Spirit, dwell always in
our hearts : teach us to lift our thoughts continually to
our gracious Father ; impart to us thy strength, or thy
consolation, as our wants may be. And to thee, to the
Father, and to the Son, be praise, honour, and glory, for
ever and ever. Amen."
For sixteen years Mrs. Oberlin was a beloved friend
and useful assistant to her husband. In their tastes and
pursuits, in their opinions and feelings, they became en-
tirely one. She managed his household discreetly, edu-
cated their children judiciously, and. entered into all his
benevolent plans with earnestness and prudence.
She died suddenly, in January, 1784, a few weeks af-
ter the birth of her last child. Her death was deeply felt
in the Ban de la Roche, for her assistance and sympathy
had always been freely offered to the poor and the afflicted.
The bereaved husband was at first almost stunned by
the blow. But God supported him in this hour of trial.
No duties were neglected, no murmur escaped his lips.
In a document written about that time, he says, " I have
all my life had a desire, occasionally a very strong one,
to die, owing in some degree to my moral infirmities and
my frequent derelictions. My affection for my wife and
M ME. OBERLIN. 147
children, and my attachment to my parish, have some-
tanw checked this desire, though for short intervals only.'
W ben Ins beloved partner had gone to another world,
;"' more eawes ly wished to depart and be with her; but
'" prayed for resignation to the will of Him, who alone
knew what was best; and resignation and peace were
given hnn. He might be said never to have been sepa-
rated Irom his wife ; for he seemed to live m her memory,
and devoted several hours every day to communion with
His pathetic prayer that the death of one might be very
speedily followed by that of the other was not granted
He survived Madeleine forty-two years ; and continued
to the last a blessing to his parishioners, and to all who
came within his influence.
The wonderful improvements he had made in the
Steintahl, and the religious and enlightened state of his
little community, excited universal interest and admira-
tion The goodness of Oberlin became fame ; and in the
decline of life the excellent old man was visited by for-
eigners from various parts of the world, who came to pay
their tribute of respect to the venerable pastor of the Ban
de la Roche.
He died in June, 1826, at the age of 86. At the mo-
ment of his departure the tolling of a bell announced to
his anxious people that their « Father Oberlin," as they
affectionately called him, had « gone hence, to be with
them no more." Their sorrow was deep and universal.
Notwithstanding the incessant rain that poured down for
several days previous to his funeral, all the inhabitants,
young and old, from the remotest corners of the Ban de
la Roche, assembled to pay their last tribute of respect to
their instructor, benefactor and friend. His bible and
148 GOOD WIVES.
clerical robes were laid upon his coffin, and the mayor
affixed to the funeral-pall the decoration of the Legion of
Honour. Twelve girls standing around the hearse, sang
a hymn in chorus. The coffin was borne by the magis-
trates, and the children of the different schools established
by Oberlin chanted, at intervals, sacred hymns prepared
for the occasion. The procession was more than two
miles in length. In front walked the oldest inhabitant of
the Steintahl, carrying a cross to be placed upon his
grave, on which was engraved in open letters, the simple
and affecting epitaph, Papa Oberlin.
Many Roman Catholic priests, and poor Catholic
women were present, and were deeply affected. For
though Oberlin was a Lutheran, he was very tolerant of
the opinions of others, and wished all to enjoy the utmost
freedom in their faith. He carried this kind feeling so
far, that he administered the sacrament to Christians of
all sects, and had three different kinds of sacramental
bread prepared, that the consciences of neither Catholic,
Lutheran, or Calvinist, might be offended.
Oberlin was the intimate friend of Lavater, who was
even more beloved as a Christian minister than celebrated
as a physiognomist.
Oberlin had nine children ; seven of whom were liv-
ing when his wife died; and five survived him. His
daughters all married clergymen, and every union was
blessed with the good old patriarch's cordial approbation.
WIFE OF HUGO GROTIUS.
Hugo Grotius, one of the most renowned scholars of
his age, was very early in life distinguished for his "real
attainments. He was born in Delft, in 1583. At eWt
years of age he composed Latin elegiac verses; and" at
fourteen, he maintained public theses in mathematics, law,
and philosophy. In 1598 he accompanied the Ambassador
of the States to Paris, where he was received with great
distinction by Henry the Fourth, who gave him his pic-
ture and a gold chain. With the pardonable vanity of
youth, Grotius had his own likeness engraved with this
chain about his neck. In 1599, when he was not yet
seventeen years old, this extraordinary man pleaded his
first cause at the bar, in a manner that gave him prodi-
gious reputation ; and the successive publication of several
learned works secured the universal admiration of men
In 1608, he married Mary Reigersberg, whose father
had been burgomaster of Veer. The wife was worthy
of the husband, and her value was duly appreciated.
Ihrough many changes of fortune, they lived together in
the utmost harmony and confidence.
Grotius was an Arminian, and a republican ; and as a
public man, it was scarcely possible for him to avoid
being involved in the furious religious and political dis-
putes of the day.
150 GOOD WIVES.
He was arrested with some others, upon the charge of
encouraging the city of Utrecht to rebellion, and confined
in the Castle of the Hague. Previous to his trial, he
was dangerously ill, during which time his anxious wife
could not obtain access to him. After very vigorous and
unfair proceedings, his estates were confiscated, and he
was sentenced to imprisonment for life. The place of his
confinement was the fortress of Louvestein, in South
Holland. His wife earnestly entreated to be his fellow
prisoner, and her petition was granted. In one of his
Latin poems he speaks of her with deep feeling, and com-
pares her presence to a sun-beam amid the gloom of his
prison. The States offered to do something for his sup-
port ; but, with becoming pride, she answered that she
could maintain him out of her own fortune. She in-
dulged in no useless regrets, but employed all her ener-
gies to make him happy. Literature added its powerful
charm to these domestic consolations; and he who has a
good wife, and is surrounded by good books, may defy
the world. Accordingly, we find Grotius pursuing his
studies with cheerful contentment, in the fortress where
he was condemned to remain during life. But his faith-
ful wife was resolved to procure his freedom. Those,
who trusted her with him, must have had small know-
ledge of the ingenuity and activity of woman's affection.
Her mind never for a moment lost sight of this favourite
project, and every circumstance that might favour it, was
watched with intense interest.
Grotius had been permitted to borrow books of his
friends in a neighbouring town, and when they had been
perused, they were sent back in a chest, which conveyed
his clothes to the washerwoman. At first, his guards
had been very particular to search the chest : but never
MME. GROTIUS. 151
finding- anything to excite suspicion, they grew careless.
Upon this negligence, Mrs. Grotius founded hopes of
havi.no- her husfenfd conveyed away in the chest. Holes
weft bored in it to admit the air, and she persuaded him
to try how long he could remain in such a cramped and
confined situation. The commandant of the fortress was
absent, when she took occasion to inform his wife that
she wished to send away a large load of books, because
the prisoner was destroying tiia health by too much study.
At the nppointed time, Grotius entered the chest, and
was with difficulty carried down a ladder by two soldiers.
Finding it very heavy, one of them said, jestingly,
' There must be an Arminian in it." She answered
very coolly that there were indeed some Arminian books
in it. The soldier thought proper ,to inform the com-
mandant's wife of the extraordinary weight of the chest ;
but she replied that it was filled with a load of books'
which Mrs. Grotius had asked her permission to send
away, on account of the health of her husband.
A maid, who was in the secret, accompanied the chest
to the house of one of her master's friends. Grotius
came out uninjured ; and dressed like a mason, with
trowel m hand, he proceeded through the market-place to
a boat, which conveyed him to Brabant, whence he took
a carriage to Antwerp. This fortunate escape was
effected March 22d, 1621. His courageous partner man-
aged to keep up a belief that he was very ill in his bed,
until she was convinced that he was entirely beyond the
power of his enemies.
When she acknowledged what she had done, the com-
mandant was in a furious passion. He detained her in
close custody, and treated her very rigorously, until a
petition, which she addressed to the States-general, pro-
152 GOOD WIVES.
cured her liberation. Some dastardly spirits voted for
her perpetual imprisonment ; but the better feelings of
human nature prevailed, and the wife was universally
applauded for her ingenuity, fortitude, and constant affec-
Grotius found an asylum in France, where he was
reunited to his family. A residence in Paris is expen-
sive ; and for some time he struggled with pecuniary em-
barrassment. The king of France at last settled a pen-
sion upon him. He continued to write, and his glory
spread throughout Europe.
Cardinal Richelieu wished to engage him wholly in
the interests of France ; and not being able to obtain an
abject compliance with all his schemes, he made him feel
the full bitterness of depe-ndance.
Thus situated, he was extremely anxious to return to
his native country ; and in 1627 his wife went into Hol-
land to consult with his friends on the expediency of such
He was unable to obtain any public permission to
return ; but relying on a recent change in the govern-
ment, he, by his wife's advice, boldly appeared at Rotter-
dam. His enemies were still on the alert ; they could
not forgive the man who refused to apologize, and whose
able vindication of himself had thrown disgrace upon
them. Many private persons interested themselves for
him ; but the magistrates offered rewards to whoever
would apprehend him. Such was the treatment this
illustrious scholar met from a country, which owes one
of its proudest distinctions to his fame !
He left Holland, and resided at Hamburgh two years ;
at which place he was induced to enter the service of
Christina, queen of Sweden; who appointed him her
MME. GROTIUS. 153
ambassador to the court of France. After a residence of
ten years, during which he continued to increase his
reputation as an author, he grew tired of a situation,
which circumstances rendered difficult and embarrassing.
At his request, he was recalled. He visited Holland, on
his way to Sweden, and at last met with distinguished
honour from his ungrateful country. After delivering
his papers to Christina, he prepared to return to Lubeck.
He was driven back by a storm; and, being impatient,
set out in an open wagon, exposed to wind and rain.
This imprudence occasioned his death. He was com-
pelled to stop at Rostock, where he died suddenly, Au-
gust 28, 1645, in the sixty-third year of his age. His
beloved wife, and four out of six of his children, survived
WIFE OF JOHN HOWARD.
This great philanthropist was born in Clapton, a large
village near London, in 1727. He inherited a handsome
fortune from his father, who was a wealthy upholsterer.
The most distinguishing trait of his early character was
overflowing kindness ; and these benevolent feelings,
guided by a most correct judgment, remained with him
through life, and made him a blessing to the world.
It was his favourite maxim that " Our superfluities
should be given up for the convenience of others ; our
conveniences should give place to the necessities of others ;
and even our necessities should give way to the extremi-
ties of the poor."
There was a perfect harmony between his theory and
his actions. His ready and earnest benevolence made
him an object of idolatry among the poor of his neighbour-
hood ; and when he was abroad on his great mission of
humanity, he never forgot to give such orders as were
necessary to supply their necessities.
In ten years he travelled more than forty-two thousand
miles for the sole purpose of relieving distress. He visit-
ed nearly all the prisons and hospitals of Europe ; endur-
ed toil and privation ; risked infection ; boldly spoke
offensive truths to princes, nobles, and men in power ;
and liberally expended his income, where money could
be productive of good. His generosity was particularly
MRS. HOWARD. 156
exercised toward worthy people imprisoned for small debts.
On such occasions, he would often return to his family in
great joy, saying, " I have made a poor woman happy ; I
have sent her husband home to her and her children."
This good man was twice married. His first connex-
ion seems to have been formed entirely from motives of
gratitude, to a highly respectable widow, who had been
exceedingly kind to him during a severe illness. He
was then about twenty-five years old, and his bride had
numbered rather more than twice as many years. She
was a sincere, affectionate, and sensible woman, and her
husband respected and esteemed her. In two or three
years the connexion was dissolved by her death.
To her who was truly his wife, he was united in 1758,
when he was about thirty years old. She was the
daughter of Edward Leeds, Esq. of Croxton. Early
accustomed to the indulgences of wealth, she formed no
frivolous tastes, no expensive habits. Amiable, affection-
ate, and benevolent, she found her greatest delight in
doing good. They were both pious. She cordially
assisted in all his plans, seconded all his wishes, and
seemed to have adopted the creed of Milton's Eve, a God
is thy law, thou mine."
Their residence at Cardington was fitted up in the
neatest and most unostentatious manner. All the linen
necessary to furnish the house was spun by the cottagers
in the neighbourhood, under the immediate superintend-
ence of Mrs. Howard herself; and during his life he al-
ways made it an object to use such articles as could be
manufactured by his poor neighbours. When absent for
any time, he always left particular directions for the com-
fort of his aged nurse ; and when he was at home, he
156 GOOD WIVES.
would himself see that coals were sent to her cottage, to
warm her bed, every night when the weather was cold
enough to require it. In all these things, Mrs. Howard
warmly sympathized. She attended upon the sick, fed
the hungry, and clothed the destitute. Soon after her mar-
riage, she sold her jewels, and put the money into her hus-
band's charity purse. On settling his accounts one year,
Mr. Howard found an unexpected balance in his favour ;
and he asked his wife if she would like to take a trip
to London. " What a comfortable cottage for a poor per-
son might be built with the money we should expend !"
was her benevolent reply. The sum was appropriated
as she suggested ; and this excellent couple enjoyed the
purest satisfaction of the human heart — that of preferring
the good of others to our own.
The same sympathy prevailed in their religious im-
Wishing to observe the effect on her mind, Mr. How-
ard once asked her to accompany him to some place of
fashionable resort in London. In the midst of the bril-
liant crowd, she seemed serious and contemplative. " Tell
me, dear Harriet, what you are thinking about," said he.
" I am thinking of Mr. 's sermon last Sunday,"
A degree of simple and tasteful elegance pervaded
their dwelling, and gave indication of that true refinement,
which usually accompanies purity of heart.
There was a good deal of rural beauty in the arrange-
ment of the grounds. In one place, the broad gravel
walk was thickly shaded by majestic firs, which Mr.
Howard brought home when he returned from his first
travels on the continent. One tree, planted by his be-
loved wife, was the object of his peculiar attachment.
MRS. HOWARD. 157
Many n happy hour was spent in this quiet grove, in de-
rising and talking- over the extensive schemes of benevo-
lence, which he afterward lived to execute.
A rustic hermitage, called the Koot House, on account
of its being- made entirely of the roots and trunks of trees,
was a favourite place of resort.
A lamp made out of a root was in the centre, and masses
of peat served for chairs. A book shelf was fitted into
a recess in the wall, and the Gothic portico and windows
admitted light enough for the student. This little library
betrayed the tastes and feelings of the owner; for here
might be seen the works of Hervey, Flavel, Baxter,
Milton, Thomson, Young, and Watts.
Mr. Howard, though mild and affectionate, was a great
friend to subordination in families. He thought implicit
obedience was the duty of wives, as well as children;
and he would hardly have assented to the omission which
the liberality of modern clergymen has induced them to
make in the marriage service ; an omission which, after
all, " breaks the word of promise to the ear, but keeps it
to the sense " — for how can a woman love and honour
her husband without obeying him ? While people love
and honour each other, it is natural to yield to each
other's wishes. But if they do not love and honour each
other, mere obedience is a lifeless observance of the vow.
Before their union, Mr. Howard wished his lady to
make a promise that if a discussion arose upon any sub-
ject, it should always be left to his decision. She cheer-
fully made the promise ; and what is more to the purpose,
she always kept it.
More complete happiness than fell to the lot of this wor-
thy pair can hardly be imagined to exist on earth — perfect
sympathy on all subjects, with the power and the will to
158 GOOD WIVES.
do good continually. For about seven years Mr. Howard
enjoyed the company of his beloved partner, and valua-
ble assistant ; and then death came to interrupt for a time,
the union which was to be renewed in heaven. Mrs.
Howard died in March, 1765, soon after the birth of their
only child. Her husband felt his loss acutely, but he bore
it like a christian. He never alluded to her without ex-
pressions of affection and respect amounting to venera-
tion. He caused a tablet to be erected to her memory in
Cardington church, bearing the following beautiful in-
In hope of a resurrection to eternal life,
Through the mercy of God by Jesus Christ,
Rests the mortal part of
Daughter of Edward Leeds, Esq.
Of Croxton in Cambridgeshire ;
Who died the 31st of March, 1765, aged 39.
She opened her mouth with wisdom,
And in her tongue was the law of kindness.
Proverbs, xxxi. 26.
The education of his little son was the greatest conso-
lation of the lonely widower. Hiding, walking, or gar-
dening, the child was with him almost as constantly as
his shadow. At church, the father was regularly seen
with his arms round the boy's waist, while the little hands
rested on his shoulder, or fondled his face, in infant fami-
Several years after the death of his wife, Mr. Howard
pointed to a tree among the grove of firs, and said to his
son, with earnest solemnity, " Jack, I charge you, as you
value my blessing, never allow that tree to be removed.
It was planted by your mother."
MRS. HOWARD. 159
Feeling that his own care, however assiduous, could
not supply the place of maternal solicitude, Mr. Howard
had engaged a pious and judicious woman to take charge
of his child ; and after having had sufficient experience
of her fidelity and discretion, he resolved to go abroad to
fulfil the benevolent intentions he had so long indulged.
He had twice before visited the continent, and been a
close observer of whatever affected the welfare of his fel-
low creature?. In 1769, he left England for the purpose
of devoting his time and talents entirely to the cause of
humanity; and the remainder of his life was principally
spent in dungeons, lazarettos and other abodes of wretch-
edness. The exertions he made, and the amount of good
he effected, are almost incredible. He would not indulge
himself in visiting the beautiful and magnificent works
of art, because he could not spare the time from what he
deemed a more important object ; his dress, though gen-
tlemanly, was exceedingly plain ; he drank no wine, or
spirituous liquors of any kind ; and for a great many
years his diet consisted entirely of such simple food as
milk, bread, fruit, &c.
The miniature of his beloved wife w T as the constant
companion of his travels. His heart was ever with the
child she had left to his care. His paternal exhortations
were earnest and frequent ; and he often returned to
England to observe his progress, and make arrangements
for his education. Yet this son was doomed to be to him
a child of sorrow. A wicked, but hypocritical servant,
initiated him into vice. Dissipation ruined his health,
and finally made him insane. The news of his irre-
trievable madness almost broke his father's heart ; but he
found consolation in the God whom he had always
served. Writing to his faithful steward, he says, " I fear
he gives you, as well as others, a great deal of trouble.
A great loss to children is their mother ; for they check
and form the mind, curbing the corrupt passions of
pride and self-will, which are seen very early in chil-
dren. I must leave it to Him, with whom are all hearts,
and sigh in secret ; trusting that the blessing of such an
excellent mother is laid up for him."
In this very letter, while this dreadful calamity was so
recent, the heart-stricken parent does not forget to order
three pounds sterling to be given to each of the widows
and invalids among his tenants ; three pounds of deli-
cious currants, fresh from Zante, to every poor family in
Cardington ; two guineas to an orphan girl ; and a long
list of other Christmas presents to the industrious poor.
Early in 1787, Mr. Howard returned to England, to
try the effect of his own affectionate attentions upon the
deranged mind of his son ; and it must have proved a
bitter trial to his anxious heart, to find that the sight of
him always increased the delirium. After a series of
unavailing efforts to restore his reason, he was compelled
to place him in a lunatic asylum.
His inspection of the prisons and mad-houses of Eng-
land was followed by great and immediate improvements,
and thousands of human beings at the present day owe
to hjm an amelioration of their miserable lot.
The benevolent exertions of Mr. Howard excited uni-
versal respect and admiration ; and a subscription was
set on foot to erect a statue to his memory.
This public tribute was painful to his humble and
modest feelings, and he begged his friends to prevent the
plan from being carried into execution. " Who, that
knows the sinfulness of his own heart, could allow him-
self to receive such an honour ! " said he. He gave direc-
MRS. HOWARD. 161
tions that a plain slip of marble placed beneath his wife's
tablet, should record when and where he died, with the
simple epitaph, " Christ is my Hope.'' 1
This apostle of humanity died at Cherson, in Russian
Tartary, on the 21st of January, 1790, aged 64. He
desired to be buried without pomp, and without monu-
mental inscription. His ruling passion was shown in
death ; for his last orders were that his grave should be
made useful to his fellow mortals, when he was no longer
alive to serve them. " Lay me quietly in the earth,
place a sun-dial over my grave" said he, " and let me be
His request, excepting the last clause, was complied
with ; forgotten he can never be.
A marble, bearing the record he desired, was placed
under his wife's tablet at Cardington.
A statue was afterward erected to his memory in St.
Paul's Cathedral, London ; and in his gardens at Car-
dington, Samuel Whitbread, Esq., raised a pedestal, with
an inscription to commemorate his virtues, and the at-
tachment of his faithful old gardener. The servants and
dependants of Howard could never mention their bene-
factor, or his wife, without tears ; and the most trifling
articles which had belonged to them, were considered
The old gardener was alive in 1812, and took great
delight in pointing out to visitors the tree planted by Mrs.
Howard. The identical Bible, in which the great phi-
lanthropist sought for guidance and consolation during
the intervals of his travels, still occupied its accustomed
place in the Root-House.
WIFE OF DOCTOR ALEXANDER BLACKWELL.
Mrs. Elizabeth Blackwell was the daughter of a
Scotch merchant. Her husband, Doctor Alexander
Blackwell, was a native of Aberdeen, and received his
education at the University of that city. Success in his
profession was too slow to keep pace with his hopes —
perhaps with his necessities ; and we rind that he first
became a corrector of the press in London, afterward a
His new business soon involved him in debt, and he
was imprisoned. Mrs. Blackwell had a good knowledge
of botany, and was well skilled in drawing. She re-
solved to devote these talents to the benefit of her unfor-
tunate husband, and she fulfilled her task with a remark-
able degree of talent and energy. Having heard it said
that an herbal of medicinal plants was much wanted, she
determined to supply the deficiency. She consulted Sir
Hans Sloane and several other distinguished physicians ;
who were so much pleased with her drawings, and had
so much reverence for the motive, which impelled her to
exertion, that they gave her every possible facility for
procuring plants in their freshest state, and spared no
pains to obtain for her the favour of the public. When
Mrs. Blackwell had made the drawings, she engraved
them on copper, and coloured them all with her own
hands. Each plate was accompanied by a brief descrip-
tion of the plant, its name in Latin, English, and various
MRS. BLACK WELL. 163
other languages, its qualities and uses. These illustra-
tions were written by Doctor Black well.
The first volume was published in 1737, and the se-
cond appeared in 1739. The complete work bore the
following title : « A curious Herbal, containing five
hundred of the most useful plants which are now used in
the practice of physic, engraved on folio copperplates, after
drawings taken from the life. To which is added a short
description of the plants, and their common uses in Physic"
While Mrs. Blackwell was completing this laborious
undertaking, she resided at Chelsea, near the Garden of
Medicinal Plants ; where she was frequently visited, and
much patronized, by people of distinguished rank and
learning. The College of Physicians gave the book a
public testimonial of their approbation, and made the au-
thor a present. Dr. Pulteney, speaking of this work,
says, " For the most complete set of drawings of medi-
cinal plants, we are indebted to the genius and industry
of a lady, exerted on an occasion that redounded highly
to her praise."
Mrs. Blackwell effected the purpose for which all this
labour was performed ; her husband regained his liberty,
and was, for a time, relieved from pecuniary embarrass-
ment. But this ill-fated man seemed predestined to be
unfortunate in all things, save his affectionate and excel-
lent wife. He formed various schemes, in all of which
he was successively disappointed.
He finally went to Sweden, where he drained marshes,
projected agricultural improvements, and was sometimes
employed as physician to the king. In this country he
fell under the suspicion of being concerned in plots
against the government ; and although he protested his
innocence to the very last moment, he perished on the
scaffold in 1747.
GERTRUDE VONDER WART,
WIFE OF BARON VONDER WART.
In the fourteenth century, the Baron Vonder Wart
was accused, by John of Swabia, of being an accomplice
in the murder of the Emperor Albert. There is every
reason to believe that the unhappy man took no part in
the assassination. He was, however, bound to the tor-
turing wheel, where his sufferings ended only with his
life. The devotion of his wife, during these heart-rend-
ing hours, is described by herself, in a letter to her friend
Margaretha Freianstien ; it was inserted in a book pub-
lished at Harlem, in 1818, under the title of " Gertrude
Vonder Wart, or Fidelity till Death. A true History of
the Fourteenth Century."
" I prayed under the scaffold, on which my husband
was fastened alive upon the wheel, and exhorted him to
fortitude. I then arose, and with thick pieces of wood
built myself a kind of steps, by means of which I could
mount up to the wheel, laid myself upon his trembling
limbs and head, and stroked the hair from his face, which
the wind had blown over it. — ' I beseech you, leave me !
Oh, I beseech you ! ' he exclaimed continually. ' When
day breaks, if you should be found here, what will be
your fate ? and what new misery will you bring upon
me ? Oh, God ! is it possible that thou canst still in-
crease my sufferings. '
" ' I will die with you ; 'tis for that I come, and no
GERTRUDE VONDER WART. 165
power shall force me from you,' said I ; and I spread my
arms over him, and implored God for my Rudolph's
" The day broke slowly, when I saw many people in
motion opposite us ; I replaced the thick pieces of wood
where I had found them. It was the guard, who had
fled on my appearance, but had remained near the spot,
and, as it seemed, caused a report to be made of what
had passed ; for at day-break all the people, men, women,
and children, came flocking out of the town.
11 Among these people, I recognized the gaoler, who
had given me up the preceding evening to Von Landen-
berg. The report must also have reached him, that I
had been with my husband ; for he approached me,
shaking his head, and said : ' Woman ! this was not the
intention when Landenberg fetched you yesterday ! '
" As more people approached, I saw also several wo-
men of my acquaintance ; among them was the wife of
the bailiff Hugo Von Winterthur : I saluted her, and
begged her intervention with her husband, that he might
order the executioner to put an end to my husband's cruel
" ' He dare not do anything for me,' sighed Wart, upon
the wheel, again moving his head at this moment, and
looking down upon me with his swollen eyes — ' He dare
not do anything : the Queen pronounced the sentence ;
and the bailiff must therefore obey : otherwise I had
well deserved of him that he should do me this last
" Some persons brought me bread and confectionary,
and offered me wine to refresh me ; but I could take
nothing. The tears that were shed, and the pity that
animated every heart, and was kindly expressed, was to
166 GOOD WIVES.
me the most agreeable refreshment. As it grew lighter,
the number of people increased ; I recognized also the
sheriff Steiner Von Pfungen, with his two sons, Conrad
and Datlikon; also, a Madame Von Neftenbach, who
was praying for us.
" The executioner came also ; then Lamprecht, the
confessor ; the first said with a sigh, ' God have compas-
sion on this unhappy man, and comfort his soul ! ' the
latter asked Rudolph if he would not yet confess ? Wart,
with a dreadful exertion of all. his strength, repeated the
same words that he had called out to the Queen before
the tribunal at Brugk. The priest was silent.
" All at once I heard a cry of * make way ! ' and a
troop of horsemen approached with their vizors down.
11 The executioner kneeled, the confessor laid his hand
upon his breast, the horsemen halted. Fathers and
mothers held up their children in their arms, and the
guard with their lances formed a circle, while the tallest
of the knights raised himself in his stirrups, and said to
the executioner, * Whither are the crows flown, that he
still keeps his eyes ? ' and this was the Duke Leopold.
" My heart ceased to beat, when another knight, with
a scornful smile, said : ' Let him writhe as long as he
has feeling ; but these people must be gone. Confounded
wretches ! this sighing and crying makes me mad ! No
pity must be shown here ; and she, who so increases the
howling, who is she ? what does the woman want ? away
with her ! '
" I now recognized the voice of the Queen. It was
Agnes, in the dress and armour of a knight. I remarked
immediately that it was a woman's voice, and it is cer-
tain that it was Agnes.
" ' It is Wart's wife ! ' I heard a third knight say.
GERTRUDE VONDER WART. 167
' Last night, when the sentence was executed, we took
her with us to Kyburg. She escaped from us ; and
I must find her here then ! We thought that in her
despair she had leaped into the moat of the castle. We
had been seeking her since this morning early. God !
what faithful love ! Let her alone ; nothing can be done
11 I here recognized the mild tempered youth, Von Lan-
denberg. How well did he now speak for me ! I could
have fallen at his feet.
" ' Well, Gertrude ! ' cried a fourth tone, ' will you not
yet take rational advice? do not kill yourself! save your-
self for the world ! you will not repent of it.'
" Who was this, Margaretha? I trembled ; it was she
who wanted to persuade me at Brugk, to leave the
criminal Wart to his fate, and pass days of joy with
her. Then I too could almost have exclaimed, ' God !
this is too much ! '
" Agnes made a sign to an esquire to raise me up, and
bring me away from the scaffold. He approached me,
but I threw my arm round it, and implored my own and
my husband's death. But in vain ! two men dragged
me away. I besought assistance from Heaven ; it was
" Von Landenberg (otherwise a faithful servant of
Austria), once more ventured to speak for me. ? Cease
to humble her ; such fidelity is not found on earth :
angels in Heaven must rejoice at it ; but it would be
good if the people were driven away.'
" They let me loose again ; the horsemen departed ;
tears flowed from Lamprecht's eyes ; he had acted strictly
according to his duty, and executed the will of the Queen :
he could now listen to the voice of nature, and weep with
168 GOOD WIVES.
me. ' I can hold out no longer, noble lady ! I am van-
quished ! your name shall be mentioned with glory
among the saints in heaven, for this world will forget it.
Be faithful unto death, and receive the crown of life,'
said he — gave me his hand and departed.
" Every body now left the place, except the executioner
and the guard : evening came on, and at length silent
night ; a stormy wind arose, and its howling joined with
the loud and unceasing prayers which I put up to the
" One of the guard now brought me a cloak to protect
me against the wind, because it was night ; but I got
upon the wheel and spread it upon the naked and broken
limbs of my husband ; the wind whistled through his
hair, his lips were dry. I fetched him some water in my
shoe, which was a refreshment to us both. I know not,
my dearest Margaretha, how it w<as possible for me to
live through such heart-breaking and cruel hours !
" But I lay as if guarded and wonderfully strengthened
by God's Angels and the Saints, continually praying near
the wheel on which my whole world reposed.
" During this time my thoughts were with God. As
often as a sigh broke from the breast of my Rudolph, it
was a dagger in my heart. But I remembered the Holy
Virgin, how she. too had suffered under the cross of her
Son, and consoled myself with the hope that after a short
time of suffering, the eternal joys of Heaven would be
my portion, and this gave me courage to suffer ; I knew,
too, for whom I suffered, and this gave me strength in
the combat, so that I endured to the very last moment.
" Though Wart had at first so earnestly begged of me
not to increase his agonies by my presence, yet he now
thanked me as much for not having left him. In my
GERTRUDE VONDER WART. 169
prayers to God he found consolation and refreshment; it
was a comfort to his soul when I prayed.
" How the last dreadful morning and noon were spent,
permit me to pass over in silence. — A few hours before
evening, Rudolph moved his head for the last time ; I
raised myself up to him. He murmured very faintly,
but with smiling love upon his lips, these words : ' Ger-
trude, this is fidelity till death,' and expired. — On my
knees I thanked God for the grace which he had given
me to remain faithful to the end."
WIFE OF ABRADATAS, KING OF THE SUSIANS.
When Cyrus the Great conquered the Assyrians, Pan-
thea was among the captives of his sword. Her husband,
Abradatas, was gone on an embassy to the King of the
Bactrians, at the time the camp was taken by the Per-
sians ; and at this trying moment the poor queen had no
one to whom she could fly for protection or sympathy.
Being the most beautiful woman in all Asia, Panthea
was selected as a suitable present for the conquering
Cyrus. When the Persian officers visited her tent, the
gracefulness of her figure immediately attracted attention,
although she was dressed in the same manner as her ser-
vants, and covered with a long veil. Perceiving her
deep dejection, they said to her, "Take courage, woman;
we have heard that your husband is indeed an excellent
man ; but we have chosen you for one, who is not inferior
to him in person, in understanding, or in power ; for if
there be a man in the world who deserves admiration, it
is Cyrus ; and to him henceforward you shall belong."
As soon as the young queen heard this, she burst into a
passion of grief, and refused all consolation ; for her heart
was with her husband.
When Cyrus heard the story, he refused even to see
her, lest he might be too much fascinated by her rare
He ordered his friend, Araspes, to see that she was
attended with the utmost respect, and nothing omitted,
which could contribute to her happiness.
Araspes, dazzled by her beauty, and hearing continu-
ally of her excellence, became very much in love with
her. For a long time, Panthea refrained from bringing
any complaint against the friend of Cyrus ; but at last he
grew so importunate and troublesome, that she was obliged
to inform the king of his conduct.
Cyrus, unwilling to treat his friend in an angry man-
ner, yet anxious to place him out of the way of the charm-
ing captive, proposed to Araspes to proceed to the enemy's
camp, as a pretended deserter, but real spy. Araspes,
who was conscious of deserving severe reproof, readily
consented. When Panthea heard of his desertion, she
sent a messenger to Cyrus, saying, " Do not be afflicted
that Araspes has gone over to the enemy. If you allow
me to send for my husband, I will engage that he will
prove a much more faithful friend than Araspes. The
prince, who now reigns, once attempted to part us from
each other ; Abradatas therefore considers him an unjust
man. I know that he would joyfully revolt from him to
such a man as you are."
Permission to send for her husband was readily granted ;
and when Abradatas heard how generously his wife had
been treated by the conqueror, he cheerfully marched
with two thousand horse to join the forces of Cyrus.
When he came up with the Persian scouts, he sent to the
king to tell him who he was ; and Cyrus ordered him to
be conducted immediately to his wife's tent.
This unexpected meeting was most affectionate and
joyful. When Panthea recounted the kind and respect-
ful attention she had received from Cyrus, Abradatas ex-
claimed, " What can I do, to pay the debt I owe him !"
172 GOOD WIVES.
In the warmth of his gratitude, he pressed the hand of
Cyrus, and offered to be his friend, his servant, and his
ally, promising to serve him at all times to the utmost of
his skill and power. Cyrus treated him like a prince and
like a brother.
Preparations were then making for a battle with the
Egyptians, and Abradatas caused a chariot to be fitted up
magnificently for the occasion.
When the time arrived, and he began to equip himself
for the contest, Panthea brought him a golden helmet and
arm-pieces, broad bracelets for his wrists, a long purple
robe, and a crest dyed of a violet colour ; she had taken
measure of her husband's armour, and had these things
prepared without his knowledge.
Much surprised at the costly gift, he exclaimed, "Have
you made these for me by destroying your own orna-
ments ?" " Not my most valuable one," replied Panthea;
" for you are my greatest ornament." As she said this,
she tried to put on the armour, and the tears flowed
down her cheeks in spite of her efforts to conceal them.
Abradatas was a very handsome man, and when he
was equipped in his rich armour, he looked extremely
noble and beautiful.
As he took the reins, and was about to mount his char-
iot, Panthea said : " O, Abradatas, if ever there was a
woman who loved her husband better than her own soul,
you know that I am such an one. I need not therefore,
speak of things in particular ; my actions have convinc-
ed you more than any words I can now use. Yet I de-
clare, by the love we bear each other, I had rather be
buried with you, approving yourself a brave man, than to
live with you in disgrace and shame ; so much do I think
you and myself worthy of the noblest things.
P A N T H E A . 173
"We owe great obligations to Cyrus. When I was
his captive, he did not treat me as a slave, but kept me
for you, as if he had been my brother. Besides, when
he permitted me to send for you, I promised that you
would be a more true and faithful friend than Araspes."
Abradatas, laying his hand gently on her head, and
raising his eyes to heaven, said, " O, great Jove, grant
that I may be a husband worthy of Panthea, and a friend
worthy of Cyrus !"
When he had mounted the chariot, and the driver had
shut the door, Panthea, kissed the place where his foot
had rested, as he entered. Unknown to him, she follow-
ed a short distance ; when he turned and perceived her,
he said, " Take courage, Panthea ! Farewell, and be
happy ; now go to your home."
Though Abradatas and hisequippage made a gorgeous
appearance, the people could look at nothing but Panthea,
so long as she was in sight. Her attendants conducted
her to her conveyance, and concealed her by throwing
the covering of a tent over her.
Abradatas, inspired by gratitude to Cyrus, and love for
Panthea, insisted upon being placed in the foremost dan-
ger, where he fought with strength and courage, almost
When the long and bloody struggle was over, and.
Cyrus had given directions concerning the division of the
spoils among his victorious army, he said, " Why does
not Abradatas appear before me ? Have any of you seen
him ?" One of the servants replied, " My sovereign, he
comes not because he is no longer living. He died in
the battle, as his chariot broke into the Egyptian ranks.
It is said that his wife has taken up the dead body and
brought it hither beside her in the carriage ; and her ser-
174 GOOD WIVES.
vants are digging a grave on a certain eminence by the
river Pactolus. Panthea has decked him with all the or-
naments she has, and is sitting on the ground, with his
head on her knees."
Cyrus smote himself, with an exclamation of deep sor-
row. Having given orders to prepare rich ornaments
and sheep, oxen, and horses, suitable for the burial of a
prince, a friend, and an excellent man, he set off with
a thousand horsemen, toward the scene of affliction.
When he came in sight of Panthea, with the dead
body reposing on her lap, he could not restrain his tears.
" Alas, thou brave and faithful soul ! and hast thou gone
from us ! M said he, affectionately taking the right hand
of Abradatas. The hand separated from the wrist ; for
it had been cut off by the Egyptians. Panthea shrieked
piteously ; and taking the hand from Cyrus, she kissed
it, and endeavoured to fit it to its place. " The rest is
in the same condition, Cyrus," said she ; " but why
should you see it. I know that I was partly the cause
of his sufferings. Fool that I was ! I exhorted him to
behave in such a manner as to gain your notice. He has
died without reproach ; and I, who urged him on, sit here
Cyrus, for some time wept in silence ; at last he said,
" Woman, he has died a noble death ; for he died victo-
rious. Be assured he shall not want respect and honour
in all things. Such sacrifices shall be offered as are pro-
per for a brave man, and a monument shall be raised
worthy of him and us. You shall be provided for, and
such honours paid to you as your virtues deserve at my
hands. Do but make known to me where you wish to
go, and suitable attendance shall be immediately furnish-
ed. Panthea expressed her gratitude ; adding, " Be as-
P A N T H E A. 175
sured, Cyrus, I will soon let you know to whom I wish
The generous king went away full of grief that those,
who had loved each other so well, should be thus cruelly
separated. When he had gone, Panthea dismissed all
the attendants, except her nurse ; to whom she gave or-
ders that her body, when she was dead, should be wrap-
ped in the same mantle with her husband. The nurse,
suspecting her intention, intreated her to change her pur-
pose ; and finding her prayers of no avail, she sat down
and' burst into tears. Panthea plunged a sword into her
heart, and laying her head upon her husband's breast, ex-
pired. The nurse uttered a shriek of lamentation ; and
when she saw that all was indeed over, she covered the
bodies, as she had been directed.
When the three servants discovered what had been
done after they were sent away, they likewise killed them-
selves. Cyrus caused a magnificent monument to be
erected, on which the names of Abradatas and Panthea
were inscribed in Syriac letters. Below were three pil-
lars raised in commemoration of the faithful attendants.
The last act of the unfortunate Panthea must not be
judged too harshly. She lived before the light of the
gospel had dawned upon the world ; and in those stern
times, self-sacrifice, under such circumstances, was deem-
ed a sublime virtue.
Without knowing it to be a sin, she rushed from a
world where she saw nothing remaining for her but the
lingering death of a breaking heart ; and we can only
hope that her spirit was soon united to him she loved, in
a region where ignorance is enlightened, and goodness
WIFE OF CLEOMBROTUS, OF LACEDEMON.
Chelonis was the daughter of Leonidas, king of Lace-
demon. During the reign of this monarch Agis pro-
posed an equal distribution of lands ; a proposition which
was, of course, warmly seconded by the mass of the peo-
ple, and generally opposed by the wealthy. Leonidas
gave his influence to the aristocratic party. A formida-
ble faction arose against him, of which his son-in-law,
Cleombrotus, was persuaded to be the leader ; although
the step was warmly opposed by his wife.
Leonidas fled to the altar of Minerva for safety, 5 ^ and
there his daughter Chelonis joined him in prayers to the
goddess. Cleombrotus ascended the throne ; but his in-
dignant wife refused to share his fortunes. As long as
her father remained in sanctuary, she stayed with him ;
and when he escaped to Tegea, she followed him into
It was not long before a counter-revolution took place,
and Leonidas was recalled. The monarch, according to
the fierce spirit of those ancient times, returned full of
fury against the party which had dethroned him ; and
his rebellious son-in-law was particularly marked out as
an object of revenge.
Cleombrotus took refuge in the Temple of Neptune.
* According to the laws of ancient Greece, a criminal could not
be taken from the temples of the gods.
Here he was sought by his angry father, who bitterly
reproached him for his conduct. Cleombrotus, silent
and confused, attempted no justification of himself. But
with the change of fortune, Chelonis had changed : with
dishevelled hair and a dress of deep mourning, she sat
by her husband's side, endeavouring to console him in the
most affectionate manner ; her two little children were
at her feet.
At this sight, Leonidas, and the soldiers, who were
with him, were moved even to tears.
Pointing to her mourning habit, Chelonis thus addressed
the king : " This habit, my dear father, was not first
assumed out of compassion to Cleombrotus. My sorrows
began with your misfortunes, and have ever since
remained my familiar companions. Now that you are
again king of Sparta, can I assume royal ornaments,
while the husband of my youth, whom you yourself be-
stowed upon me, falls a victim to your vengeance ? If
his own submission — if the tears of his wife and children
cannot move you, he must suffer a severer punishment
than even you wish to inflict upon him ; he must see his
beloved wife die before him. How can I live, and sup-
port the sight of women, when both my husband and my
father have refused to listen to my supplications ? If
Cleombrotus wronged you, I atoned for it by forsaking
him to follow you ; but if you put him to death, you will
make an apology for his ambition, by showing that a
crown is so bright and desirable an object, that a son-in-
law must be slain, and a daughter utterly disregarded,
where that is in question."
As Chelonis ended, she rested her cheek sorrowfully on
her husband's head ; and looked at her father with tearful
eyes. After a short struggle with himself, Leonidas
180 GOOD WIVES.
that she proves worthy of her father, worthy of you, and
worthy of her grandfather. She has great talents ; she is
an admirable economist; and she loves me with an entire
affection. To these qualities she unites a taste for litera-
ture, inspired by her tenderness for me. She has col-
lected my works, which she reads perpetually, and even
learns to repeat. When I am to plead, how great is the
anxiety she suffers ! When I have succeeded, her joy is
not less exquisite. She engages people to tell her what
applauses I have gained, what acclamations I have excited,
and what judgment is pronounced on my orations. When
I am to speak in public she places herself as near to me
as possible, under the cover of her veil, and listens with
delight to the praises bestowed upon me. She sings my
verses, and, untaught, adapts them to the lute : love is her
» Hence I expect with certainty that our happiness will
be durable, and that it will daily increase. In me she is
not captivated by youth or beauty, which are -liable to
accident and decay, but with the lustre of my name.
These are the sentiments which become a woman formed
by your hand, and instructed by your precepts. Under
your roof, she beheld only purity and virtue ; it was your
approbation that taught her to love me. Your filial affec-
tion for my mother led you in my childhood to praise and
model me, to presage that I should one day be the man
my wife now fancies me to be. We, therefore, mutually
return you thanks : I, because you have given her to me ;
she, because you have given me to her. You have se-
lected us as formed for each other. Farewell."
PLINY TO CALPHURNIA.
11 My eager desire to see you is incredible. Love is its
first spring ; the next, that we have been so seldom sep-
arated. I pass the greater part of the night in thinking
of you. In the day also, at those hours in which I have
been accustomed to see you, my feet carry me spontane-
ously to your apartment, whence I constantly return out
of humour and dejected, as if you had refused to admit me.
There is one part of the day only that affords relief to
my disquiet ; the time dedicated to pleading the cause of
my friends. Judge what a life mine must be, when
labour is my rest, and when cares and perplexities are my
only comforts. Adieu."
WIFE OF FREDERIC-GOTTLIEB KLOPSTOCK.
Klopstock was born at Quedlinburg, July, 1724. At
school he very early attracted attention by his rapid pro-
gress in learning ; and he was not twenty years of age
when he first conceived the project of writing his great
epic poem, called The Messiah. His poetic ardour was
damped for awhile by the opinions of associates altogeth-
er incapable of comprehending his genius ; but he soon
found sympathizing and admiring friends, by whose
means the poem was given to the public in 1748. It
produced a wonderful sensation. The young, unknown
student, at once became the most celebrated poet of his
country, and was universally called " the German Mil-
ton. ' ,# The father of Klopstock is spoken of as an ex-
cellent man, with much simplicity of heart, and a strong
belief in spiritual existences ; perhaps his son early re-
ceived from him those deep religious feelings, which
directed his choice of subjects, and characterized all his
Lavater was an enthusiastic admirer of " The Mes-
siah ;" speaking of the writer, he calls him " That great
author, that confidant of the angels !" The Odes of
Klopstock, though not received with so much enthusiasm
* Coleridge being asked it he thought this epithet was properly
applied to Klopstock, answered, " Yes, he is, a very German
MMB. KLOPSTOCK. 183
a< )u< epic poem, are by many, considered his best claim
to the admiration of posterity.
The young man, who was so early enamoured of poe-
try, of course easily became in love with the embodied
poetry found in female beauty.
The first object of his attachment was the sister of his
intimate friend Schmidt ; but the lady, though a fervent
admirer of his genius, could not reciprocate his affection.
This disappointment produced a powerful effect on his
sua leptible character, and it was difficult for him to con-
quer the deep melancholy which impaired his health.
Travel by degrees restored his cheerfulness. He spent
nearly a year with Bodmer^ in Switzerland, enchanted
by the grandeur of the scenery, and the simplicity of
An earnest invitation from Frederic the Fifth, and a
pension of two thousand francs, induced him to go to
Copenhagen, in 1751. On his way, he passed through
Hamburg, where he became acquainted with Margaret
Moiler, the lady whom he married in 1754 ; and who
has since been famous in many languages, under the title
of " Klopstock's Meta."
No account of their love can equal her own charming
letters. I cannot believe the most rigid grammarian, or
the most fastidious prude, will wish a single line of her
innocent, lisping English, omitted, or altered.
The letters are addressed to Richardson, the author of
Sir Charles Grandison ;
Hamburg, March 14, 1758.
dfe L 4h '. ;3fe JKi ■& Sk ^fe
WWW "W www
You will know all that concerns me. Love, dear sir,
* Bodmer was the editor of an eminent Swiss Review.
184 GOOD WIVES.
is all what me concerns ! and love shall be all what I
will tell you in this letter.
In one happy night I read my husband's poem, the
Messiah. I was extremely touched with it. The next
day I asked one of his friends, who was the author of
this poem ? and this was the first time I heard Klop-
stock's name. I believe I fell immediately in love with
him. At the least, my thoughts were ever with him
filled, especially because his friend told me very much
of his character. But I had no hopes ever to see him,
when, quite unexpectedly, I heard that he should pass
through Hamburg. I wrote immediately to the same
friend, for procuring by his means that I might see the
author of the Messiah, when in Hamburg. He told him
that a certain girl at Hamburg wished to see him, and,
for all recommendation, showed him some letters, in
which I made bold to criticize Klopstock's verses. Klop-
stock came, and came to me. I must confess, that,
though greatly prepossessed of his qualities, I never
thought him the amiable youth whom I found him. This
made its effect.
After having seen him two hours, I was obliged to
pass the evening in a company, which had never been so
wearisome to me. I could not speak, I could not play ;
I thought I saw nothing but Klopstock. I saw him the
next day, and the following, and we were very seriously
friends. But the fourth day he departed. It was an strong
hour the hour of his departure ! He wrote soon after,
and from that time our correspondence began to be a very
diligent one. I sincerely believed my love to be friend-
ship. I spoke with my friends of nothing but Klopstock,
and showed his letters. They rallied at me and said I
was in love. I rallied them again, and said that they
must have a very friendshipless heart, if they had no
MME. KLOrSTOCK. 185
idea of friendship to a man as well as to a woman. Thus
it continued eight months, in which time my friends
found aa much love in Klopstock's letters as in me. I
perceived it likewise, but I could not believe it. At the
la8t,Klopstock said plainly that he loved, and I startled
AS for -i wrong thing. I answered, that it was no love,
but friendship, as it was what I felt for him ; we had not
seen one another enough to love. (As if love must have
more time than friendship.) This was sincerely my
moaning, and I had this meaning till Klopstock came
again to Hamburg. This he did a year after we had
seen one another the first time. We saw, we were
friends, we loved ; and we believed that we loved ; and
a short time after I could even tell Klopstock that I loved.
But we were obliged to part again, and wait two years
for our wedding. My mother would not let me marry a
stranger. I could marry then without her consentment,
as by the death of my father my fortune depended not
on her ; but this was an horrible idea for me ; and thank
heaven that I have prevailed my prayers. At this time,
knowing Klopstock, she loves him as her lifely son, and
thanks God that she has not persisted. We married, and
I am the happiest wife in the world. In some few months
it will be four years that I am so happy, and still I doat
upon Klopstock as if he was my bridegroom.
If you knew my husband, you would not wonder. If
you knew his poem, I could describe him very briefly, in
saying he is in all respects what he is as a poet. This
I can say with all wifely modesty But I dare not
speak of my husband ; I am all raptures when I do it.
And as happy as I am in love, so happy am I in friend-
ship, in my mother, two elder sisters, and five other wo-
men. How rich I am !
186 GOOD WIVES.
Hamburg, May 6, 1758.
It is not possible, Sir, to tell you what a joy your let-
ters give me. My heart is very able to esteem the favour
that you, my dear Mr. Richardson, in your venerable
age, are so condescending good, to answer so soon the
letters of an unknown young woman, who has no other
merit than a heart full of friendship.
It will be a delightful occupation for me, to make you
more acquainted with my husband's poem. Nobody can
do it better than I, being the person that knows the most
of that which is not yet published ; being always present
at the birth of the young verses, which begin always by
fragments here and there, of a subject of which his soul
is just then filled. He has many great fragments of the
whole work ready. You may think that persons who
love as we do, have no need of two apartments ; we are
always in the same. I, with my little work, still — still —
only regarding sometimes my husband's sweet face,
which is so venerable at that time ! With tears of devo-
tion, and all the sublimity of the subject. My husband
reading me his young verses and suffering my criticisms.
Ten books are published, which I think probably tbe
middle of the whole. I will, as soon as I can, translate
you the arguments of these ten books, and what besides
I think of them. The verses of the poem are without
rhymes, and are hexameters, which sort of verses my
husband has been the first to introduce in our language ;
we being still closely attached to rhymes and iambics.
I am ver}^ glad, Sir, that you will take my English as
it is, I knew very well that it may not always be Eng-
lish, but I thought for yon it was intelligible.
I wish, Sir, I could fulfil your request of bringing you
acquainted with so many good people as you think of.
MME. KLOTSTOCK. 187
i I love my friends dearly, and though they are
good, 1 have however much to pardon, except in the sin-
gle Klopstock alone. He is good, really good, in all his
actions, in all the foldings of his heart. I know him ;
and sometimes I think if we knew others in the same
manner, the hetter we should find them. For it may be
that an action displeas ia us which would please us, if we
knew its true aim and whole extent. No one of my
friends is so hap I am ; but no one has had courage
to marry as 1 did : They ha \« married — as people marry;
and they are happy — as people are happy.
Hamburg, August 26, 1758.
Why think you, Sir, that I answer so late ? I will
trll you my reasons. Have not you guessed that I, sum-
ming up all my happinesses, and not speaking of chil-
dren, had none ? Yes, Sir, this has been my only wish
ungratified for these four years. But thanks, thanks to
God ! I am in full hope to be a mother in the month of
November. The little preparations for my child (and
they are so dear to me) have taken so much time, that I
could not answer your letter, nor give you the promised
scenes of the Messiah. This is likewise the reason
wherefore I am still here ; for properly we dwell in Copen-
hagen. Our staying here is only on a visit (but a long
one) which we pay my family. My husband has been
obliged to make a little visit alone to Copenhagen, I not
being able to travel yet. He is yet absent — a cloud over
my happiness ! He will soon return — But what does
that help ? he is yet equally absent ! We write to each
other every post — but what are letters to presence ? But
I will speak no more of this little cloud ; I will only tell
my happiness ! But I cannot tell how I rejoice ! A son
188 GOOD WIVES.
of my dear Klopstock ! Oh, when shall I have him ! It
is long since I made the remark that the children of
geniuses are not geniuses. No children at all, bad sons,
or, at the most, lovely daughters, like you and Milton.
*But a daughter or a son, only with a good heart, with-
out genius, I will nevertheless love dearly.
This is no letter, but only a newspsper of your Ham-
burg daughter. When I have my husband and my child,
I will write you more, (if God gives me health and life.)
You will think that I shall be not a mother only, but a
nurse also ; though the latter (thank God ! that the for-
mer is not so too) is quite against fashion and good
manners, and though nobody can think it possible to be
always with the child at home.
Alas ! the pleasant hopes of her pure and loving heart
were not to be realized in this world. She did not live
to bless her babe. The angels took them both to a hea-
venly home. Were it not for a belief in another exist-
ence, how severe and mysterious would appear the dis-
pensations of Providence ?
In a letter to a friend, Klopstock gives an account of
the tender farewell they took of each other, under circum-
stances so peculiarly agonizing. After having prayed
with her for a long time, he said, as he bent over her, " Be
my guardian angel, if God permits." " You have ever
been mine," she replied. And when with stifled voice
he again repeated, " If God permits, be my guardian an-
gel !" she fixed her eyes upon him full of love, and said,
" Ah, who would not be your guardian angel!"
Just before she died, she said, with the serene smile of
an angel, " My love, you will follow me !"
MME. KLOPSTOCK. 189
She was buried at Ottensen, in the neighbourhood of
Hamburg. Klopstock requested her sisters to plant two
trees by the grave, and her intimate friend promised to
cover it with wild flowers.
On the top of the grave-stone were carved two sheaves
of wheat, one reclining upon the other ; under which was
Seed sown by God
To ripen in the day of Harvest
Waits where death is not,
For her friend, her lover, her husband,
Whom she so much loves,
And by whom she is so much beloved !
But we shall all rise from this grave ;
Thou, my Klopstock, and I,
And our Son,
For whom I died :
To worship Him,
Who died, and was buried,
And is risen.
She was born March 19th, 1728 ;
Married, June 10th, 1754,
And died November 28th, 1758.
Her son sleeps in her arms.
After her death her husband published a small volume
of her writings, to which is prefixed an affectionate
sketch of her character, some letters that passed between
them during their brief separation, and letters from Klop-
stock to his friends giving an account of her last illness.
Their letters to each other are short, but very fervent
— full of romantic tenderness, which a heartless world
envies while it scorns. At one time she writes, " Ah,
when will you come home ! It is wearisome, wearisome,
living without you, to one who has lived with you."
190 GOOD WIVES.
Again she writes, * God be thanked ! I have received
your letter. What a joy it was to me ! What will it be
when you come ! I know not what I write, I am so
full of joy. I received your letter at table ; I ate no
more, as you may suppose. I was half beside myself;
the tears started to my eyes. I went to my chamber. I
could thank God only with my tears. But He under-
stands our tears so well !"
In one of his letters to her, he writes, " I know how
much you think of me, my best, and dearest wife ; I
know it by my own feelings. Beloved Meta, how I do
long to see you ! I fold thee fast to my heart."
These letters, so full of glowing expressions warm
from the heart, were written when Klopstock had been
united to his Meta'^ more than four years — one of the
many beautiful proofs that true love grows deeper and
stronger with time !
Klopstock rejoined his wife, at Hamburg, the last of
September, after an absence of about seven weeks.
In less than two months after his return, she went from
him, to be no more his companion in this vale of tears.
Her Posthumous Works consisted of Letters from the
Dead to the Living, a tragedy called the Death of Abel,
and several smaller pieces. They were written entirely
for her own amusement, without the slightest idea of their
ever being published. Her husband says she blushed,
and was very much embarrassed, whenever he found her
writing, and expressed a wish to see what she had been
doing. He informs us that her taste was correct, and
highly cultivated, and that her criticisms upon his poetry
were always extremely apt and judicious. He says he
* Meta is the contraction of Margaretta.
knew instantly by her countenance, whether his thoughts
pleased her ; and so perfect was their sympathy, that their
souls could hold delightful communion almost without the
aid of language.
Klopstock possessed one of the common attributes of
great genius in an eminent degree ; he had the simplicity
and frankness of a little child. A perpetual cheerfulness,
almost amounting to gayety, formed a pleasing contrast
to the seriousness of his writings. The pleasure he took
in his own reputation sometimes exacted a smile ; but
his was a kind of vanity that is never very offensive — it
was instantly felt to be the childish ingenuousness of a
heart too guileless to conceal any of its feelings.
He died March 14, 1803, when he had nearly finished
his seventy-ninth year. He lived unmarried till a few
years before his death, when he allowed the marriage
ceremony to be performed between him and a kinswoman
of his wife, who had attended upon him faithfully during
the feebleness and sufferings incident to advancing years ;
he had no fortune to bequeath her, and he took this step
in order to give her a legal claim to his pensions.
During the latter part of his life, Klopstock resided at
Hamburg. According to the wish he had always ex-
pressed he was buried by the side of his beloved Meta.
His funeral was conducted with almost princely pomp,
and every possible honour was paid to his memory.
A writer in the Biopraphie Universelle, says of Klop-
stock, " Everything conspired in his works to excite en-
thusiasm ; elevation of ideas ; beauty and boldness of im-
agery ; perfect pictures of nature ; truth and profundity
of sentiment ; and harmonious measure. As long as
the German language lasts, he will be read with admira-
WIFE OF CHRISTOPHER MARTIN WIELAND.
The celebrated Wieland was son of a Lutheran clergy-
man. He was born at Biberach in Swabia, in 1733.
His genius began to unfold itself at an early age, and ex-
cited expectations among his friends, which were after-
wards more than realized.
He was scarcely eighteen years old, when he became
enthusiastically in love with Sophia von Gutterman, a
second cousin, who visited his father's house. The
young lady, being preengaged, and regarding her inte-
resting relative as a mere youth, allowed an intimacy,
which her beauty and intellect made very dangerous to
his peace. Sophia von Gutterman afterward became
Madame La Roche ; and Wieland's early passion for her
settled down into a calm and enduring friendship.
Some of the early writings of Wieland attracted the
universal attention of the literary patriarch, Bodmer ; and
he invited the young genius to visit him at his romantic
residence near Zurich. The invitation was accepted in
1752, and Wieland occupied the apartment, which had
been assigned to Klopstock the year preceding.
The works of Wciland at this period, and for several
years afterward, breathed the religious faith and strict
morality, which he had imbibed from his father. But his
relative La Roche, was secretary to Count Stadion, a
diplomatist and courtier, who in 1763 retired from pub-
MME. WIELAND. 193
lie life to his princely mansion at Warthausen, about
three miles from Biberach ; and in this family Wieland
became a favourite.
The library contained many volumes of French litera-
ture and philosophy, which Wieland seized upon with the
eagerness of a young and active mind. He had formerly
been prone to religious mysticism, but his writings after this
period were characterized by an opposite tendency. He in-
troduced many French and English writers to Germany,
through the medium of translation, and gained extensive
fame by his own productions. Strict moralists find much
to condemn in his writings, but they are always charac-
terized by a lively imagination and a benevolent spirit.
The emperor of Russia conferred upon him the order of
St. Anne, and Napoleon that of the Legion of Honour.
But our business is principally with his domestic
character. In the autumn of 1765 he married Anna
Dorothea Hillenbrandt, the daughter of a merchant at
Augsburg. She was not a woman of uncommon intellect;
it is supposed that she knew very little about her hus-
band's writings, although she looked up to him with re-
spect and admiration almost amounting to worship. She
had a serene temper, and a most affectionate heart.
Wieland was impetuous, and trifles often provoked him
to angry eloquence. On these occasions, her gentleness
and patience always won the victory, and Wieland soon
laughed at his own ravings. It is said that some of his
most powerful expressions were struck out in these trans-
ports of passion.
In 1769, Wieland was appointed Professor of Law at
the University of Erfurt, with the title of privy counsel-
lor ; an honour rarely bestowed upon so young a
man. He found the University in a state of decay ; but
his eloquent lectures soon doubled the number of students.
He complained much of the dulness of society. The
only house that collected all the wit and fashion of Erfurt
was of a licentious character; and Wieland, notwith-
standing the grossness of some of his writings, was reluc-
tant to bring his wife and children, and his young pupil
La Roche within the polluted atmosphere.
In 1758, Wieland was appointed tutor to the prince,
by the Duchess Dowager, Anne Amelia ; at the same
time, he received the title of Aulic Counsellor to the Duke
of Saxe Weimar, and the Elector of Mentz.
In consequence of these honours, he removed from
Erfurt to Weimar, which soon became renowned as the
" Athens of Germany." The splendid constellation of
genius, drawn thither by the munificent patronage of the
reigning family, rendered the title as just as it was flat-
The theatre was conducted at the expense of the state ;
the performers were selected with great care ; the music
was the very best that could be procured ; and costumes
and scenery were critically exact ; the public, as in an-
cient Greece and Rome, were admitted gratuitously.
The picturesque walks of the ducal grounds were like-
wise opened to the public. Here genius, in all its various
manifestations of power, found patronage and honour.
Goethe, Schiller, and Wieland, were the master-spirits ;
but a crowd of minor authors were attracted by the intel-
lectual enchantments of the place. The celebrated Her-
der was the bishop of this little metropolis, and the first
masters of music and the fine arts were employed in his
In this state of intellectual luxury Wieland lived the
greater part of his life ; and here he wrote many of his
MM E . WIS LAUD. 195
best productions, among- which was the widely celebrated
Obcron, published in 1780.
But in all the plenitude of his fame, his heart seems
to have been in his family. In 1782, he thus writes to
Gleiin : " How gladly would I accept your invitation,
and fly to you, and shake you by both hands, and talk
over with you the days of our youth, and sun ourselves
afresh in the aurora of literature ; but a thousand silken
bands bind me to Weimar. lam rooted into the ground
here, and occupations that admit no delay press around
me. Besides, how can I drag away my wife from her
nine children, when the joint ages of the six youngest do
not amount to twenty years ? Our house is a little world,
in which our presence and government cannot be spared.
But you, a single man, might come hither, and amuse
yourself with seeing these little elves creep, one after
another, out of their lurking holes."
In a letter to Sophia de la Roche, he says : " My
sweetest hours are those in which I see about me, in all
their glee of childhood, my whole possee of little half way
things, between apes and angels."
In a letter written in 1787, he observes : " My wife is
a model of every feminine and domestic virtue ; free from
the usual foibles of her sex, with a head unbiassed by
prejudices, and a moral character that would do honour
to a saint. During the two-and-twenty years I have
lived with her, I have never for one moment wished my-
self unmarried. Her existence is so intimately connected
with my own, that I cannot be absent from her a week
without experiencing feelings similar to the home-sickness
of the Swiss. Of our fourteen children, nine are living ;
all amiable and all healthy in body and mind. They
and their mother form the happiness of my life,"
96 GOOD WIVES.
At another time, he says : " I experience more and
more that all true human happiness lies within the
charmed circle of married domestic life. I become con-
tinually more and more the man, and in that proportion
happier and better. Labour is a pleasure to me, because
I am working for my children ; and I am internally con-
vinced that my calm trust in the hand which weaves the
web of our destinies will not disappoint me or mine."
If fame brings its pleasures, they never come unattend-
ed by inconveniences. All the distinguished literati,
princes, and nobles, who were travelling, were sure to
visit Weimar, and made a point of seeing Wieland ;
forgetting that his perpetual sacrifice of ease and quiet
might be a higher price than he chose to pay for the
honour of their company.
This circumstance made Wieland anxious for retire-
ment. His oldest son had a taste for agriculture, and as
his favourite daughter (who married a son of the poet
Gesner) resided in Switzerland, he resolved to purchase
a farm at Osmahstadt, in the vicinity of Zurich. He
removed in 1798 ; at which time his family consisted of
himself and wife, three sons, two unmarried daughters,
two widowed daughters, and four grand-children. The
artists of Weimar volunteered their drawings for the ne-
cessary alterations at Osmanstadt, and the reigning Duke
sent from his own gardens the statue of a siren, to deco-
rate the fountain in the court-yard. To the day of his
death, he received a thousand dollars per annum from
his princely pupil.
In 1799, Sophia de la Roche, now a widow, visited
Wieland at his new residence, and gave an interesting
account of his manner of life, in one of her books, entitled
" Schattenrisse meiner Errinnerungen."
MM E . WIELAND. 197
She says : " On the fifteenth of July, 1799, after a sepa-
ration of almost thirty years, T reached Wieland's house
at erening, and again embraced the worthy friend of my
youth, his wife, and four of his daughters. One of my
buc grand-daughters accompanied me, and being fatigued
we retired early to rest : but I could not sleep. The tide
of feelings and recollections rushed over me too vehe-
mently: still 1 was in his house, and I was happy. I
heard him, before he went to bed. playing on his harpsi-
chord, according to his custom; he was rehearsing a
Swiss tune, which we had admired together at Biberach.
11 The breakfast had an attractive neatness and sim-
plicity; no servant attended: one daughter brought a
glass of buttermilk ; another a plate of cherries, the toast-
ed bread, and the home-made butter ; and the young man
presented to my Julia a handful of roses: we had seen
him while we were rising, employed in mowing the grass-
plot in the garden. During the forenoon, Mrs. Wieland
led me to the dairy and the. several objects of her super-
intendence, and showed me the delicate produce of her
spinning-wheel. Wieland himself conducted me to see
his new shorn flock, and told me what crops were to suc-
ceed the fragrant fields of bean and clover which I then
11 He took me to spend a day with the Dowager Duch-
ess, at her residence in TiefTurt. Goethe was of the party,
and agreed to dine with us the next day at Osmanstadt.
Then, indeed, I sat in a temple of the gods ! while at the
table, which was not additionally provided, I listened to
these two patriarchs of German literature addressing
each other w T ith the friendly thou and thee* of the an-
• A respectful address in German is put in the third person in-
198 GOOD WIVES.
cients, and discussing, with polished frankness, the men,
and books, and events of the times.
"A bust of Count Stadion ornamented the mantel-
piece ; Gothe asked me whether it were a good likeness,
analyzed its expression, and was almost immediately on
a friendly footing with me, as if he too had been ac-
quainted with us under that roof. I repeated to him an
observation I had heard Wieland make to the old Count,
that all great men in the evening of life sought a still
retirement in the lap of nature.
" When the ladies withdrew to walk in the alley of
lime-trees, Herder's daughter came to join us.
" Another of the delightful days I passed here was
that on which the Duchess Amalia, in all her affability,
came to see us, and, leaning on Wieland's arm, walked
up and down the garden with us. On that same day,
Herder and his wife joined our party at table, and brought
with them John Paul Richter, a comparatively young
man, of whose genius high opinions were entertained.
In the evening, when our guests had retired, Wieland
read to us a terrific dream by this author.
" The day on which Wieland's name was inserted in
the manorial books was an interesting one. He gave a
rural feast to his neighbours on becoming a fellow tenant,
his property being copy-hold.
" The villagers spread themselves over the green, took
their refreshments in the open air, shook Wieland and
his sons by the hand, and prayed God to bless him and
stead of the second. This custom has sometimes been carried to
a ridiculous extent where great personages were concerned.
'| Have his Highness gone this way ?" inquired a gentleman of a
group of peasants The answer was, " No sir ; but their poodle
have just passed :" tife investing even the dog with the plurality
belonging to rank.
MRS. ROSS. 213
made herself known ; and if she was tenderly beloved
before she made such sacrifices, it will readily be believed
that she was idolized now.
They departed together for Philadelphia, where they
were immediately married. But alas, the perfect happi-
they enjoyed was not to be of long duration. A
languor, which resisted all medical art, attacked the sys-
tem of Mrs. Ross, and threatened to terminate her life.
It was soon discovered that her lover had been wounded
by a poisoned arrow, and the venom pervaded all her
hlnod. Her husband watched over her with the most
tender solicitude ; and as he saw one remedy after an-
other fail to restore the health that had been so affection-
ately sacrificed for him, his hopes gradually settled into
despair, and he died broken-hearted in the spring of
177S. The widow's grief was softened by the certainty
of soon following him she had loved so fondly. She
summoned sufficient fortitude to cross the Atlantic again,
in order to implore the forgiveness of her parents. With
them she languished a little while, and died. Her spirit
rejoined her husband in July, 1779, when she was twen-
ty-five years old. A monument is erected to her mem-
ory in Hammersmith church, recording these interesting
Two instances of a similar kind are recorded in his-
tory, in which the victims were perfectly aware that they
sacrificed their own lives to save their husbands :
Queen Eleanor, wife of Edward the First, being
informed that the king was wounded with a poisoned
arrow, drew forth the venom with her own lips, and died
for him. Charing Cross, in London, takes its name from
a cross which Edward erected to her memory. Some
214 GOOD WIVES.
antiquarians say it was so called from the village of Char-
ing, in which the monument was built : others deny the
existence of any such village, and contend that it derived
its name from being the resting-place of chere Reyne, or
the dear queen.
Sybella, wife of Robert of Normandy, showed the
same courageous attachment to her husband. The prince
being wounded in this shocking manner, was informed
that recovery was impossible, unless the poison was
sucked out. The amiable son of the Conqueror resolved
to die, rather than allow any one to make the dangerous
experiment. But while he slept, Sybella, his duchess,
gently applied her lips to the wound ; and before he
awoke, the deadly venom had passed into her veins. She
did not long survive this proof of her love.
S E L I N A . 211
A tranquil, meek dignity, was her prevailing charac-
In the winter of 17S7 some idle scoffer inclosed two
masquerade tickets in a cover directed to her. She re-
ceived the insult very calmly ; and handed the tickets to
one of her deacons, requesting him to sell them for as
high a price as he could, and give the money to the de-
serving poor. The deacon carried them to the west end
of the town, where he sold them for a guinea ; with this
money he liberated a poor debtor from the Poultry Comp-
The Countess of Huntingdon was as distinguished for
her self-possession, and acute penetration into character,
as she was for abundant and judicious kmdness.
She died June 17, 1791, at the age of eighty-four.
WIFE OF CAPTAIN ROSS.
Captain Ross was an officer in the English army
during the American Revolutionary war. He was much
attached to a young lady, whose engagements to him her
parents refused to ratify. When military duty compelled
him to cross the Atlantic, his lady-love, without apprising
him of her intentions, resolved to follow him. For this
purpose, she disguised herself in men's clothes, and took
passage for America. She arrived immediately after a
battle had been fought between the Indians and the de-
tachment to which Capt. Ross belonged. Among the
dead bodies, she quickly recognized the object of her
search. He was wounded and senseless ; but she dis-
covered a slight pulsation of the heart. She applied her
lips to the wound, from which she sucked the flowing
blood until it was staunched. This remedy restored him
to life. She had sufficient presence of mind to restrain
her impetuous joy, well knowing how fatal sudden emo-
tion might prove to one in his weak and languid condition.
During forty days she watched over him with the most
unremitting attention, completely disguised by her dress
and the artificial colouring of her complexion. During
his illness, the young officer talked continually of the
object of his affections, and repeatedly expressed his fears
that he should not live to be united to her.
When his health was sufficiently restored, the lady
mme. n U B E R . 203
ing up the connexion ; but the more this misfortune be-
came certain, the more Maria determined not to abandon
her lover. She made no resistance to the will of her
father, but quietly waited until she had attained a lawful
age to act for herself.
Poor Huber, fearful of losing his precious prize, tried
to conceal from the world, and even from himself, that
an entire deprivation of sight was his inevitable lot ; but
total darkness came upon him, and he could no longer
deny that the case was hopeless. The affliction was
made doubly keen by fears that Maria would desert
him ; but he might have trusted the strength of a wo-
man's heart. — Miss Lullin resisted the persuasions and
persecutions of her family, and as soon as she was
twenty-five years old, she led to the altar the blind object
of her youthful affections. The generous girl had loved
him in his brilliant days of youth and gayety, and she
would not forsake him when a thick veil fell forever be-
tween him and the glories of the external world. There
is something exceedingly beautiful and affecting in this
union. Those who witnessed it, at once felt a strong
internal conviction that the blessing of God would rest
on that gentle and heroic wife.
Voltaire often alluded to the circumstance in his corre-
spondence, and it forms an episode in Madame de StaeTs
Mrs. Huber had no reason to regret the disinterested
step she had taken. Providence provides for those who
trust in him.
Huber's active and brilliant mind overcame the impedi-
ments occasioned by loss of vision. His attention was
drawn to the history of bees ; and by the assistance of
his wife and son, he observed their habits so closely, that
204 GOOD WIVES.
he soon became one of the most distinguished naturalists
in Europe. His very blindness added to his celebrity ;
for men naturally admire intellectual strength overcoming
physical obstructions. The musical talents, which in
youth had made Huber a favourite guest, now enlivened
his domestic fireside. He enjoyed exercise in the open
air, and when his beloved wife was unable to accompany
him, he took a solitary ramble, guided by threads, which
he had caused to be stretched in the neighbouring walks.
He was amiable and benevolent, and all who approached
him were inspired with love and respect.
Even great success came to him unattended by its
usual evils ; for the most envious did not venture to de-
tract from the merits of a kind-hearted man, suffering
under one of the greatest of human deprivations.
Notwithstanding the loss of his eyes, Huber's counte-
nance was the very sun-dial of his soul — expressing
every ray of thought and every shade of feeling. The
sound of his voice was solemn and impressive. A gen-
tleman, who saw him for a few hours, said : " I no longer
wonder that young people are so prone to believe the
blind supernaturally inspired."
During forty years of happy union, Mrs. Huber proved
herself worthy of such a husband's love. He was the
object of her kindest, and most unremitting attention.
She read to him, she wrote for him, she walked with
him, she watched his bees for him ; in a word, her eyes
and her heart were wholly devoted to his service.
Huber's affection for her was only equalled by his re-
spect. Alluding to her low stature, he used to say,
" mens magna in cor pore parvo" (a great soul in a small
He used to say, " While she live(J, I was not sensible
of the misfortune of being blind."
MME. HUBEE, 205
His children, inspired by their mother's example, at-
tended upon him with the most devoted affection. His
son, Pierre Huber, who himself became famous for his
history of the economy of ants, was a valuable assistant,
and beloved companion. He made a set of raised types,
with which his father could amuse himself, by printing
letters to his friends.
After the death of his wife, Huber lived with a mar-
ried daughter at Lausanne.
Loving and beloved, he closed his calm and useful
life at the age of eighty-one. In one of his last letters
to a friend, he says, " Resignation and serenity are bless-
ings which have not been denied me."
WIFE OF WILLIAM III.
Mary, the daughter of James the Second, was a most
affectionate wife to William, Prince of Orange.
When asked what she intended her husband should
be, if she became Queen, she answered, " All rule and
authority shall be vested in him. There is but one com-
mand, which I wish him to obey; and that is, ' Husbands,
love your wives? For myself, I shall follow the injunc-
tion, ' Wives, be obedient to your husbands in all things? "
She kept the promise she had voluntarily made. They
were proclaimed under the title of William and Mary, but
the power was entirely vested in him. She was an ami-
able and excellent princess, and by her example made
industry and domestic virtue fashionable. She was con-
stant and earnest in her attachment to the king, and all
her efforts were to promote his interests, and make him
beloved by the people. Her letter to Lady Russell, in
which she deplores the bustle and pomp of royalty, be-
cause it separated her so much from her husband, is a
beautiful proof how much stronger were the feelings of
the woman than those of the Queen.
The king had great confidence in her ability and dis-
cretion. During his absence, she was several times left
regent of the kingdom, and although the conflicting state
of parties rendered the office exceedingly difficult, she
discharged her duty in a remarkably energetic and judi-
QUEEN MARY. 207
She died in 1694, in her thirty-third year. Her hus-
band showed a degree of affliction hardly to be expected
from one whose feelings were so habitually subdued, that
the English considered him cold in his affections. For
several weeks, he was entirely incapable of attending to
any business. " I cannot do otherwise than grieve," said
he to Archbishop Tennison, " since I have lost a wife,
who during the seventeen years I have lived with her,
never committed an indiscretion. "
WIFE OF GEORGE OF DENMARK.
The Princess Anne, younger daughter of James the
Second, who married Prince George of Denmark, was
likewise a most amiable and affectionate wife, and a very-
judicious mother. During the illness of her husband,
which lasted several years, she would never leave his
bed, and often sat up half the night with him. Lady
Russell, speaking of the few days that preceded the
death of Prince George, says : " Sometimes they wept,
sometimes they mourned; then sat silent, hand in hand;
he sick in his bed, and she the carefullest nurse to him
that can be imagined."
The Prince died in 1708. As her elder sister, Mary,
died without children, Anne was proclaimed Queen, after
the death of William. She had a numerous family, but
none of them survived her.
It is a singular circumstance that the grandmother of
Queens Mary and Anne was a poor country girl, em-
ployed to carry beer from a brewery in London. She
was handsome, and the brewer married her. He left her
a young widow, with a large fortune. She applied to
Mr. Hyde, the lawyer, to transact her business. He be-
came enamoured of his fair client, and married her. Mr.
Hyde became Earl of Clarendon ; his daughter married
the Duke of York, afterwards James the Second, and
became the mother of Mary, and Anne.
COUNTESS OF DORSET,
WIFE OF THOS. SACKVIL, EARL OF DORSET.
The following tribute to the virtues of a good wife,
occurs in the last will and testament of the celebrated
Earl of Dorset, one of the finest scholars of his time,
Chancellor of Oxford, and Lord High Treasurer of Eng-
land, during the reign of Elizabeth.
" Imprimis, I give and bequeath unto the Lady Cicilie,
Countess of Dorset, my most virtuous, faithful and dearly
beloved wife, — not as any recompense for her infinite
merit towards me, — who, for incomparable love, zeal,
and hearty affection ever showed unto me, and for those
her so rare, reverent and many virtues, of charity, mod-
esty, fidelity, humility, secrecy, wisdom, patience, and a
mind replete with all piety and goodness, which evermore
both have, and do abound in her, deserveth to be honour-
ed, loved, and esteemed above all the transitory wealth
and treasures of this world, and therefore by no price of
earthly riches can by me be valued, recompensed or re-
quited, — to her therefore, my most virtuous, faithful, and
entirely beloved wife, — not, I say, as a recompense, but
as a true token and testimony of my unspeakable love,
affection, estimation and reverence ; long since fixed and
settled in my heart and soul towards her, I give," &c.
COUNTESS OF HUNTINGDON.
This noble and wealthy lady was celebrated for being
a firm and zealous Methodist, at a period when people of
her rank universally considered that sect as vulgar and
despicable ; and this fact in itself announces a strong
character and generous feelings.
She was most devotedly attached to her husband, and
when he died, her heart yearned for full possession of that
religious faith which promises re-union in the world to
come. She was handsome and distinguished, and the
world of fashion did not fail to offer its allurements and
its flattery ; but she had fixed her hopes on something
more enduring, and nothing could tempt her to swerve
from the path she had chosen. During forty-five years
of widowhood, her spirit held close communion with the
dear departed object of her affections ; and every look and
tone of his were enshrined in memory. She caused her
beautiful bust to be placed upon his tomb, at Ashby de-la-
Zouch, in the County of Leicester; and in her will, she
requested that her body might be placed by his side, hab-
ited in the same dress of white silk, which she had worn
at the opening of the Methodist Chapel, in Goodman's
In the course of her life., she expended more than one
hundred thousand pounds in acts of public and private
MME. WIELAND. 201
Wieland died in January, 1S13. When he thought
ml was approaching, he began to repeat his own
translation of Hamlet's Soliloquy; but at the words " To
du ." " to sleep" his doubting spirit passed.
His body lay in state several days, on cushions of blue
silk, in a richly gilded coffin. A white shroud enveloped
the limbs : the black velvet calotte still remained on his
head, around which was braided a wreath of laurel; a
copy of his Oberon and Musarion formed his pillow. A
great deal of pomp attended the removal of the body to
Wieland, in his time, was at the head of the classic
school of German writers. His imagination luxuriated
in the mythology of the ancients. Perhaps his early im-
pressions still maintained an influence of which he was
unconscious ; and in this poetic form his affections might
have retained some belief in supernatural agency, though
false philosophy had driven it from his understanding.
" I'd rather be
A Pagan, suckled in a creed outworn ;
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn ;
Have sight of Proteus coming from the sea ;
Or hear old Triton blow his wreathed horn."
MADAME HUBEE. .
WIFE OF FRANCOIS HUBER.
Francis Huber was born at Geneva on the 2d of July,
1750, of a highly respectable family, remarkable for in-
telligence. His father was distinguished for wit and
originality in conversation, and for a cultivated taste in
the fine arts. Voltaire particularly delighted in his
company, on account of the freshness and brilliancy of
his mind, and his skill in music. He excelled in pictures
of game, and wrote an interesting work on the flight of
birds of prey. His son inherited his taste and talent.
Study by day, and romance reading during the night,
impaired his health, and weakened his sight. When he
was fifteen years old, the physicians advised entire free-
dom from all literary occupation. For this purpose, he
went to reside in a village near Paris, where he followed
the plough, and was for the time, a real farmer. Here
he acquired a great fondness for rural life, and became
strongly attached to the kind and worthy peasants among
whom he resided. His health was restored, but with the
prospect of approaching blindness.
He had, however, sufficiently good eyes to see and
love Marie Aimee Lullin, a young lady who had been
his companion at dancing-school. They loved, as warm
young hearts will love, and dreamed of no possibility of
separation. M. Lullin regarded the increasing proba-
bility of Huber's blindness, a sufficient reason for break-
MME. WIELAND, 199
his : they had music and a dance, in which we joined,
and sang and rejoiced until twilight. May his felicity
be perpetual ! he so thoroughly deserves it."
But perpetual felicity is not the lot of mortals. Wie-
land's rural speculation was unfortunate. The crops did
not equal his hopes ; the movements of armies rendered
his property insecure, and lessened its value ; and, like
most gentlemen farmers, he soon became involved in pe-
cuniary embarrassments. To these troubles a more
grievous affliction was added in 1801, by the death of
his wife. She was buried at the bottom of the garden,
in a family tomb intended to inclose his own remains.
Osmantium^ now became a dreary residence to Wie-
land, and he resolved to return to Weimar. He thus
writes to Bodmer, early in 1803 :
" Since the death of my wife, I have lost the love of
existence ; and the lustre which once shone on all things
around me is dimmed. I would fain withdraw my atten-
tion from a painful feeling, which especially seizes on me
whenever I lie down or get up : but memory will be busy.
Never, since I was born, did I love anything so much as
I loved my wife. If I but knew she was in the room, or
if at times she stepped in and said a word or two, that
was enough — my guardian angel had been near : — but
since she has been gone, my very labours fall off in
spirit, and my writings please me no longer. Why
could we not, like Philemon and Baucis, have died on
one day ?"
When it was known that Wieland wished to return to
Weimar, the Duke provided for him a house, opening
into the grounds of the Duchess Dowager, and command-
* The name of the estate.
200 . GOOD WIVES.
ing a noble prospect. It was announced that henceforth
hewas to form one of the ducal household ; and a place
was assigned to him in the state-box at the theatre.
After six years of absence, Father Wieland (as the lite-
rary patriarch was then called) was everywhere haded
with a loud burst of welcome. Herder, Schiller, and
other great minds flocked around him ; and Gothe vaned
a decoration of his Torquato Tasso, in order to give an
opportunity for a plaudit of congratulation when Wieland
first appeared at the theatre.
There is something extremely beautiful in such heart-
felt tributes to intellect. Methinks the united gratitude
and admiration of so many minds acting upon one must
have an electric power, strong enough to elicit sparks ot
genius even from the dullest materials. It is indeed a
pitvthat spontaneous applause has so often been bestowed
upon the highly-gifted corrupters of mankind.
Wieland lived long enough to survive several of his
most valued friends. Herder, and the Duchess Amaha
died before him.
The estate at Osmanstadt had passed into the hands
of one of his friends ; and it was agreed that his wish of
being buried by the side of his wife should he realized.
The court-sculptor undertook to erect a monument
with suitable decorations. On one side was recorded the
death of Anna Dorothea Wieland, beneath two inter-
twined hands, the emblem of conjugal affection ; on the
other side a space was left for the record of Wieland s
death, above which was sculptured a winged lyre and a
star. Wieland himself wrote a simple epitaph, which
" In life they were united by love,
And here they repose together in death."
LADY HARRIET ACKLAND,
WIFE OF MAJOR ACKLAND.
Major Ackland was an officer in the British army,
during the war, which terminated in the acknowledged
independence of the American Colonies.
His wife accompanied him to Canada, in the beginning
of 1776. During the campaign of that year, she traversed
a great extent of territory, exposed to the inclemencies of
various seasons, and to all the privations and incon-
veniences attendant upon an active military life. For a
long time, Major Ackland was very ill in a miserable hut
at Chamblee ; and his lady, accustomed as she was to
luxury and indulgence, zealously performed the offices
of nurse, servant, and friend.
The fatigue and sufTe rings she was obliged to endure,
distressed her husband so much, that he absolutely forbade
her going with him to Ticonderoga, in 1777 ; but he be-
ing wounded at the battle of Hubberton, nothing could
prevent her from crossing Lake Champlain, to attend
upon him. After this she insisted upon following all his
fortunes, and would take no denial. Together they tra-
versed the dreary forests to Fort Edward. Here they
were subject to sudden alarms, that no person laid down
to sleep without being ready to start at a moment's warn-
ing. One night, Major Ackland's tent took fire. One
of the grenadiers rushed in and dragged out the first per-
son he laid hold of, which proved to be the Major. Lady
216 GOOD WIVES.
Harriet, awakened to a confused sense of danger, crept
out under the the opposite part of the tent. She caught
a glimpse of her husband rushing back into the flames to
save her : he was again rescued, though severely burned.
The tent, and all it contained, was consumed.
This accident, of course, exposed Lady Ackland to
many additional inconveniences ; but she maintained a
courageous cheerfulness, and endured all her hardships
without a murmur.
On the 19th of September, her fortitude was put to the
severest trial. Her husband, being aware that the army
were constantly exposed to an encounter with the enemy,
during their march, ordered the women to follow in the
rear of the artillery and baggage. In that situation all
the uproar of the battle was distinctly audible ; and she
had the agonizing knowledge that her beloved husband
was in the front ranks of danger. She had three female
companions with her, the Baroness Reidesel, and the
wives of Major Harnage and Lieutenant Kennels.
As the action grew more bloody, the ladies took refuge
in an uninhabited house, w T here for hours together they
heard one continued fire of cannon and musketry. To
this place of retreat the surgeons soon began to bring in
the wounded and dying, among which many a familiar
face was recognised. Major Harnage was brought in
dreadfully wounded, and Lieutenant Kennels, was shot
dead. In this terrible situation, the poor women, parti-
cularly Lady Ackland, retained a wonderful degree of
firmness and presence of mind.
On the 7th of October, she was again within hearing
of all the tumult of battle, and again her place of refuge
was among the wounded and dying. After a long period
of agonizing suspense, she received intelligence that the
LADY HARRIET ACKLAND. 217
troops were defeated, and her husband wounded, and
taken prisoner. The Baroness Eeidesel says, ll On hear-
ing this, she became very miserable ; we tried to comfort
her by telling her the wound was slight, and that she
would perhaps receive permission to go to him. She was
a charming woman, and very fond of him." On the
morning of the Sth, Lady Ackland sent a most urgent
petition to General Burgoyne, entreating liberty to pass
into the American camp, for the purpose of obtaining
General Gates's permission to attend upon her husband.
On this occasion, General Burgoyne says, " I could
readily believe that the tenderest forms were capable of
the utmost patience and fortitude, for my experience had
furnished me with abundant proofs ; but I was astonished
at this proposition. After so long an agitation of the
spirits — exhausted, not only from want of rest, but abso-
lutely from want of food — drenched in rain for twelve
hours together — that a woman should be capable of such
an undertaking as delivering herself to the enemy, pro-
bably in the night, and uncertain into what hands she
might fall at first, appeared to me an effort above human
nature ! The assistance I was able to give her was small
indeed. I had not even a cup of wine to offer ; but I
was told she obtained, from some fortunate hand, a little
rum, and some dirty water. All I could furnish w r as an
open boat, and a few lines, written on dirty, wet paper,
recommending her to the protection of General Gates."
The chaplain of the regiment cheerfully undertook to
accompany her, and with two other attendants she was
rowed down the river to meet the enemy. The night
was far advanced when the boat reached the out-posts of
the American camp ; and the sentinel, apprehensive of
treachery, could not be prevailed upon either to let it pass,
218 GOOD WIVES.
or to allow the passengers to come on shore ; he threat-
ened to fire into the boat, if it stirred before daylight.
Lady Ackland's sufferings were thus protracted through
seven or eight cold and dreary hours. She was at last
permitted to proceed ; and it is hardly necessary to say
that General Gates received her with the utmost kindness
and respect. An escort was provided to convey her safely
to Albany, where she rejoined her wounded companion.
In order to form a proper estimate of this lady's forti-
tude, we must recollect that she had always been accus-
tomed to the refined indulgences attendant upon rank and
wealth ; that her frame was delicate ; her manners gentle,
and above all, that she was in a state of health, which
rendered such exposure peculiarly inconvenient and
hazardous. A strong character and ardent affection were
all that fitted her for such trials.
Of her remaining biography little is known ; but we
may safely conclude that domestic love was strengthened
by the hardships she had endured, and that in her hus-
band's gratitude she found a rich and abundant reward.^
* Since the above was printed, the editor has been allowed to
examine the private journal of the late excellent General Dear-
born, who commanded at the post where Lady Ackland's boat
was first hailed. It is not true that any threats were used, or any
greater detention occasioned, than was necessary to ascertain that
the passengers came with a flag of truce. Lady Ackland was in-
deed prevailed upon to go no farther that night, because it was
dark and stormy, and the presiding officer was able to give her en-
couraging news concerning her husband. From first to last her
treatment in the American camp was compassionate and respectful.
WIFE OF GENERAL REIDESEL.
We have already mentioned this lady as the compa-
nion of Lady Ackland during the trying scenes of the
19th of September, and the 7th of October. When
Lady Ackland went to the American camp, the Baroness
Reidesel remained surrounded by the wounded and the
dying. A more forlorn and discouraging situation can
hardly be imagined. It was difficult to obtain even the
most common comforts of life ; she was surrounded by
little children, who kept her in a state of constant anxiety
lest their noise should disturb the dying officers ; and
often, after a day of fatiguing exertion, she passed the
whole night without sleep. Nothing could exceed her
attention to the poor sufferers around her. She dressed
their wounds, prepared cushions and cordials for them,
and gave them any little delicate morsel of nourishment
she could obtain, though she herself was scantily pro-
vided. This excited the most enthusiastic gratitude, and
she was universally considered as a benefactress to the
army. Before General Burgoyne began his retreat, it
was necessary to bury General Frazer, who had just died
of his wound. General Gates, not being aware it was a
funeral, ordered the procession to be fired upon. The
Baroness Reidesel says, " Many cannon-balls flew close
by me, but I had my eyes directed to the height where
my husband was standing, amidst the fire of the enemy ;
and I could not think of my own danger."
220 GOOD WIVES.
The retreat of the English army was principally made
in the silence of night ; for their route was environed hy
dangers. It was evening when the Baroness Reidesel
arrived at Saratoga. Her dress was thoroughly soaked
with rain, and in this condition she was obliged to remain
all night ; though she was at last able to obtain a little
straw, on which she reposed near the fire. Yet, tired as
she was, she was anxious to proceed. She asked an offi-
cer, " Why do we not continue our retreat? My hus-
band has promised to cover it, and bring the army through."
" Poor, dear Lady," replied the officer, " drenched as you
are, I wonder you have so much courage to persevere.
I wish you were our commander. General Burgoyne
is so much fatigued that he intends to halt here to-night."
Next morning the retreat was continued, and orders
were given to burn the handsome houses and mills of
General Schuyler. Such is the wanton havoc of war!
In the afternoon, the firing of cannon being heard,
General Reidesel urged his wife to take refuge in a house
not far off. The calash, which conveyed her and her
children, was fired on. She escaped by throwing her
children under the seat, and lying upon them, so that the
balls passed over, but a poor wounded soldier, who was
with them, not perceiving the danger quick enough to
dodge, received another wound.
An awful cannonade was directed against the house in
which they sought shelter. The baroness and her chil-
dren took refuge in the cellar ; there she remained all
day, the little ones lying on the earth, with their heads on
her lap ; and there she passed a sleepless and dreadful
night. Eleven cannon balls passed through the house,
and she could distinctly hear them roll away. One poor
fellow, who was waiting to have a shattered leg ampu-
BARONESS REIDESEL. 221
tated, was struck by a shot that carried away the other.
His comrades had left him, and when the ladies went to
his assistance, they found him in a corner of the room
During the whole of this dangerous crisis, the Baron-
ess was in the most cruel suspense concerning the fate of
her husband. In this distressing situation they remained
six days. General Reidesel and an English officer once
came to see them, at the risk of their lives. When they
went away, the officer said, " Not for ten thousand gui-
would I come here again. This visit has almost
broken my heart."
On the 17th of October, General Burgoyne made a
formal surrender, and this frightful state of things was
ended. The moment it was safe, General Reidesel sent
for his family to come to him. She says, " As we rode
through the American camp it was a great consolation to
see that no one eyed us resentfully ; on the contrary,
all showed compassion at the sight of a woman with little
children. As I drew near the tents, a handsome man
came up, and, kissing my children affectionately, bade
me not be afraid. This reception affected me almost to
tears. After he had introduced me to the American
commander, he said, ' The English officers are to dine
with General Gates to-day. You will be embarrassed to
meet so much company. Come to my tent with your
children, where I will prepare a frugal dinner and give
it with free will.' I now found this was General Schuy-
ler ! I said to him, ' You are certainly a husband and a
father, you have treated me and my little ones with so
much kindness.' We partook of an excellent dinner ;
and now that my husband was out of danger, I was con-
tent." General Schuyler informed them that he resided
222 GOOD WIVES.
at Albany, where General Burgoyne was about to visit
him ; and he urged them to join the party. Her husband
wished to accept the invitation ; but as he was unable to
start at the same time she did, General Schuyler had the
politeness to send a French officer to escort her during
the first part of the journey. At the house where she
was to remain for the night, she found a flippant French
surgeon, who, with. profligate pertness, informed her that
it would be wise to leave the conquered and remain
with the conquerors. He would not believe she was a
General's wife ; saying no woman of that rank would
follow her husband into the camp.
The presence of General Reidesel soon put a stop to
his impertinence ; and they arrived at Albany in safety
General Schuyler, with his wife and daughters, re-
ceived them as heartily as if they had been old friends.
General Burgoyne was sensibly affected by this noble
conduct ; it painfully reminded him of the houses and
mills he had burned down during his retreat. " I have
done you much injury," said he ; " yet you show me
great kindness." " That was the fortune of war," re-
plied the excellent man ; ' Let us think no more of it."
jfc «&£. 4k -¥- 4fc 46
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Whether the troubles of the Baroness Reidesel ended
with the American war, is not recorded. It is probable
that the remainder of her life passed without bringing
any greater calamities than usually fall to the lot of
WIFE OF ADONIRAM JUDSON.
Mrs. Ann H. Judson was the daughter of Mr. John
Hasseltine, and was born in Bradford, Massachusetts, in
December, 1789. Activity, gayety, and enthusiasm, were
her early characteristics. During the period of extreme
youth her busy mind and ardent feelings found abundant
employment in the social pleasures of the world, which
she enjoyed^with a peculiarly keen zest ; but before she
was seventeen years old, her attention was aroused to
serious subjects, and her religious impressions imbibed
all the fervour of her natural character.
In 1S10, she became acquainted with Mr. Adoniram
Judson, who was then preparing to engage in a mission
to India, for the conversion of the heathen. A mutual
attachment sprung up between them. The situation was
peculiar, and somewhat difficult. If she accepted Mr.
Judson, she must, of course, consent to leave her home
and friends, and go to a far distant clime, in order to try
an experiment, the success of which, to say the least, was
very uncertain ; then there was the conscientious fear that
human affection would have more influence than it ought
to have, in a step for which she would receive the credit
of religious zeal.
The result was her marriage with Mr. Judson, in Feb-
ruary, 1812. About a fortnight after the wedding they
embarked for India, accompanied by several others, who
224 GOOD WIVES.
had been ordained as missionaries ; among whom were
Mr. and Mrs. Newell. Mrs. Judson, and Mrs. Harriet
Newell were the first women that left America for the
purpose of devoting themselves to the cause of missions.
We shall pass over the doubts and encouragements, the
trials and triumphs, which fell to their lot, while engaged
in this undertaking: Whoever wishes to see an interest-
ing account of the mission, will find it in a small volume
written by the Rev. James D. Knowles ; a book so uni-
versally known, that it scarcely need be mentioned.
We have Mrs. Judson's own testimony that her union
was happy. In a letter to her sister, she says : " I find
Mr. Judson one of the kindest, most faithful, and affec-
tionate of husbands. His conversation frequently dissi-
pates the gloomy clouds of spiritual darkness which hang
over my mind, and brightens my hope of a happy eter-
nity. I hope God will make us instrumental of preparing
each other for usefulness in this world, and greater hap-
piness in a future existence.
During the first years of the mission, Mrs. Judson had
many inconveniences to encounter, and she met them
with a singular degree of patience and energy ; but her
trials at this period were very largely mingled with bless-
ings and enjoyments. Her real afflictions began with the
war between England and the Burman Empire in 1824.
On the suspicion of being spies, paid by the English gov-
ernment, Mr. Judson, and several other individuals, were
imprisoned and treated with great severity. The weight
of this calamity was increased by separation from their
friends and fellow-labourers ; for they were at Ava, while
the main body of the missionaries were at Rangoon.
On the 8th of June, Mr. and Mrs. Judson were pre-
paring for dinner, when in rushed an officer, holding a
MRS. JUDSON. 225
black book, with a dozen Burmans, among whom one
with a spotted face was immediately recognised as " the
son of the prison," or the executioner. This man threw
Mr. Judson violently on the floor, and began to bind him
Mrs. Judson begged him to be merciful, promising to
give him money. " Take her too," exclaimed the brutal
officer ; " she also is a foreigner." Her husband, with an
imploring look, entreated that she might remain, at least
till they received further orders. They consented to this ;
and having bound his fetters very tight, they dragged
him off, she knew not whither.
She followed, offering them money, and entreating
them to loosen the cords a little. Finding her efforts un-
availing, she sent Moung Ing (a native convert to whom
they were much attached), to make some further exertions
for the benefit of the prisoner ; but the unfeeling jailer
only drew his cords the tighter. Moung Ing returned
with the information that the foreigners had been thrown
into the death-prison. It would be an idle attempt to de-
scribe how the night was passed by that wretched wife.
A guard of ten ruffians was placed round the house, who
spared no pains to insult and terrify her. Their loud
carousings and fierce language tormented her till morning,
when her worst fears were confirmed by hearing that the
prisoners had each three pair of iron fetters, and were
fastened to a long pole. Her greatest source of anguish
was her inability to make any exertions in their behalf.
In vain she begged and entreated permission to state her
case to some officers of government. At last she wrote
a note to the king's sister, but received it again with the
cold reply that the princess could not understand it.
Another wearisome day and sleepless night passed heav-
226 GOOD WIVES.
ily on, and brought to her no hope. On the third day-
she begged to wait upon the governor of the city with a
present. This was touching the right key. The gover-
nor received her graciously, and heard her earnest expos-
tulations against imprisoning Americans, who were a
people distinct from the English, and entirely unconnect-
ed with their wars. He said it was out of his power to re-
lease her husband : he however promised to make him
more comfortable, and referred to his head-officer for the
means. The officer demanded a secret bribe of one hun-
dred dollars, two pieces of fine cloth, and two pieces of
handkerchiefs. The money was paid, and the other arti-
cles excused, because she did not own them. This fee
gave her access to the prison, bat she was not allowed to
enter. Mr. Judson crawled to the door and talked with
her a few minutes. Even this poor consolation was grudg-
ingly allowed by the jailers, and they soon ordered her
to go away, telling her they would drag her off, if she
Again Mrs. Judson sought an interview with a female
relative of the royal family. With heart-stirring elo-
quence she represented the extreme injustice of her hus-
band's case ; begged the lady to imagine what would be
her own wretchedness in a similar situation ; alone and
unprotected in a strange land, daily expecting the death
of the friend she best loved, and that friend innocent of
any crime ; and concluded by imploring her mediation
with the Queen.
The lady's feelings were touched, and she promised to
use her influence. But the hopes thus excited were
dashed to the ground, by her Majesty's cool answer,
" The teachers will not die ; let them remain as they
MRS. JUDSON. 227
In the mean time, the property of the foreigners was
Confiscated. Airs. Judson, being forewarned of this,
secreted as many articles of value as she could. The
officers conducted the business with more regard to her
Feelings than Bhe expected. Seeing her deeply affected,
they apologized, by reminding her of the obedience they
owed the King, assuring her their duty was a painful
one. They left the books, wearing apparel, and medi-
cines. When they had taken all the money they could
find, they asked, " Is this all the silver you have ?" Mrs.
Judson would not resort to a falsehood, even in these
trying circumstances : she simply replied, " The house
is in your possession ; search for yourselves."
Even the sad interviews at the prison gate were now
forbidden ; and a man who was discovered carrying let-
ters, was beaten and put in the stocks. His release could
net be obtained under ten dollars. With the rapacity of
despotic governments, every pretext was seized upon to
extort money from the unfortunate sufferers ; and diffi-
culties were multiplied, for the express purpose of trying
how much they would give to be extricated.
The governor of the city was exceedingly angry when
he found Mrs. Judson had told of the sum she had given
him and his officers, for a slight amelioration in her
husband's condition. "You are very bad!" he ex-
claimed ; " Why did you tell of that ? " " The royal
treasurer asked me ; and what could I say ? " she re-
plied. " Say you gave me nothing." " My religion
forbids a lie. Had you stood by me with your dagger
raised, I could not have said what you suggest." Upon
this, the governor's wife immediately took her part, say-
ing she liked such sincerity. This lady ever after con-
tinued a firm friend to Mrs. Judson ; and the governor
22S GOOD WIVES.
was pacified by the present of a beautiful opera-glass,
which had lately been sent from England.
For the seven succeeding months, Mrs. Judson daily
continued her importunate entreaties to different mem-
bers of the royal family, and various branches of the
government. Sometimes, she was cheered with a ray
of hope, which only made the succeeding darkness more
insupportable. During this period, she suffered under
every species of oppression : all the officers, from the
highest to the lowest, taxed their ingenuity to invent
schemes of extortion.
Liberty to go to the prison was gained by reiterated
presents to those in authority ; but often, for days in suc-
cession, she was not allowed to go till after dark, although
it was two miles from her residence.
In a letter to her husband's brother, after relating these
particulars, she says : " Oh, how many, many times have
I returned from that dreary prison at nine o'clock at
night, solitary, and worn out with fatigue and anxiety,
and thrown myself down in that same rocking chair,
which you and Deacon L. provided for me in Boston,
and endeavoured to invent some new scheme for the re-
lease of the prisoners. Sometimes,, for a moment, my
thoughts would glance towards my beloved friends in
America — but for nearly a year and a half every thought
was so entirely engrossed with present scenes and suffer-
ings, that I seldom reflected on a single occurrence of my
former life, or recollected that I had a friend in existence
out of Ava."
The only commander, who had any success against
the British forces, was Bandoola ; and he, consequently,
had almost unlimited influence with the king. As a last
resource, Mrs. Judson resolved to apply to this officer for
MRS. JUDSON. 229
the release of the missionaries ; although some cautioned
her against this step, lest being reminded of them, he
should order their instant execution. The petition was
received graciously ; but her excited hopes were soon
dashed, by a message stating that the city of Rangoon
must be retaken before Bandoola could attend to her
The unhappy wife was, however, allowed to make a
little bamboo room within the prison inclosures, where
she could sometimes spend two or three hours with her
The birth of a little daughter interrupted these visits ;
and as she could not during her illness make daily pre-
sents, and offer daily petitions, the cause of the prisoners
lost ground. Besides this, the total defeat of Bandoola
exasperated the government still more against all foreign-
ers. The missionaries were removed to an inner prison,
in five pair of fetters each, and deprived of their mats,
Mrs. Judson's babe was not two months old, when she
received these tidings. She immediately repaired to the
governor, but was sent away with the assurance that he
could not help her. But she persevered until she ob-
tained an audience. "With pathetic eloquence she re-
minded him of his former kindness, of his promise to
stand by her to the last, and never, under any circum-
stances, allow Mr. Judson to be put to death. The old
man melted into tears, as he listened to her impassioned
entreaties. " I pity you," said he ; "I knew you would
make me feel ; and therefore I ordered that you should
not be admitted. Believe me, I do not wish to increase
the sufferings of the prisoners. When I am ordered to
execute them, the least I can do is to keep them out of
230 GOOD WIVES.
sight. Three times I have received intimations to murder
them privately ; but I would not do it. And I now re-
peat it, though I execute all the others, I will save your
husband. But I cannot release him, — and you must not
It was the hot season of that burning climate, and a
multitude of prisoners were confined in one room. The
consequence was universal debility and loss of appetite.
Mr. Judson was seized with a fever, which threatened to
terminate his life.
Mrs. Judson entreated permission to attend upon him ;
and the governor, worn out by her importunities, consented
that he should be removed to a little bamboo hut, where
she could nurse him. The hovel was too low to admit
of standing upright ; but to people in their circumstances
it seemed a delightful abode. She was sometimes driven
out by the brutal jailers ; but in general she was able to
stay two hours together with her suffering companion.
This gleam of consolation soon vanished. At the end
of two or three days, the governor sent to call her from
one of these visits. Much alarmed, she hastened to obey
the summons. He said he only wanted to consult with
her about his watch ; but she afterwards found that his
object was to detain her until the white prisoners were
carried away from the city.
For many months her feelings had been disconsolate
enough ; but when she heard of this new affliction, her
agony amounted almost to distraction. She ran hither
and thither, inquiring of every one she met ; but no one
would tell where the prisoners had been conveyed. At
last, an old woman said they were to be carried to Ama-
rapora. The governor confirmed this, pleading the
necessity of obedience to the king, and his ignorance of
MRS. JUDSON. 231
the intentions of government. " You can do no more
for your husband," said he ; " take care of yourself."
This was indeed a moment of despair. Even the
miserable little bamboo prison had become an object of
love and pleasant association : now all within it was silent
and cheerless. The melancholy occupation of watching
the invalid, of preparing his medicines and food, had
ceased. He was carried off, she knew not whither, nor
for what dreadful purpose. It can easily be conjectured
what resolution was taken by a woman of her strong
heart. She determined to follow her husband. The
governor's charge to take care of herself implied personal
danger ; and this became more evident by his wish that
she should not leave Ava until after dark, when he pro-
mised to send a man to open the gates.
She sailed for Amarapora in a covered boat, with her
little infant, two adopted Burman children, and a Benga-
lee cook. The day was dreadfully hot, but they pro-
ceeded in tolerable comfort, till within two miles of the
government-house. They were then obliged to take a
cart and jostle over the dust under a scorching sun.
When they arrived there, they found the prisoners had
been sent on two hours before ; and it became necessary
to go four miles further, in the same uncomfortable man-
ner, with a baby in her weary arms.
On her arrival at Oung-pen-la, she found Mr. Judson
in a state of deplorable misery. The prisoners had
been tied together two and two, and driven along in the
heat of the day, till their feet bled at every step. One
of them died in consequence of this treatment. Mr.
Judson, still suffering under the remains of his fever,
narrowly escaped death. His anxious wife, almost ex-
hausted with fatigue and wretchedness, could obtain no
refreshment for him or herself.
232 GOOD WIVES.
His first words were, " I hoped you would not follow
me; for you cannot live here." The corner of a filthy
hut furnished shelter for the night, and after drinking a
little half-boiled water, Mrs. Judson lay down upon a
mat and slept.
In this abode she spent the next six months ; without
any furniture, even a chair, or seat of any kind.
The very morning after her arrival at Oung-pen-la, the
Burman child, who was able to assist in the care of the
babe, was taken with the small pox. No assistance, or
medicine, could be procured. All day long Mrs. Judson
was going from the prison to the hut, and from the hut
to the prison, with her infant in her arms. Sometimes
she obtained a little relief by leaving the child asleep
with its father. The little Burman was delirious with a
raging fever, and the babe took her dreadful disorder.
This was a load of misery that seems almost too much
for mortal strength. The children at last recovered ; but
Mrs. Judson sunk under her extraordinary exertions.
She became so weak as to be scarcely able to walk to
the prison. In this debilitated state she set off in a cart
for Ava, in order to procure some medicines she had left
there. There her disorder became so violent, that she
had no hope of recovery. She says : " My only anxiety
now was to return to Oung-pen-la, to die near the prison."
Frequent doses of laudanum so far subdued the disease,
that the sufferer was enabled to set off. It was in the
rainy season, and the oxen, that dragged the heavy cart,
were half buried in mud.
Nature was almost exhausted, when she arrived at
Oung-pen-la. The good native cook was so much affected
by her emaciated appearance, that he burst into tears.
This faithful creature seemed to be the only solace left in
mi l a . judson, 233
their forlorn condition. The babe, deprived of her usual
nourishment by her mother's illness, was a source of con-
stant anxiety, particularly as no nurse could be obtained.
By making presents to the jailers, Mr. Judson obtained
leave to carry the poor famishing thing round the village,
and appeal to the compassion of mothers. Sometimes,
too, the almost dying wife was indulged in the " un-
speakable consolation " of seeing her husband for a little
while. But, in general, they suffered under the same
system of extortion and petty tyranny.
The execution of the prisoners was prevented by the
death of the king's brother, who had sent word to keep
them, till he came to witness it : luckily for their peace
of mind, they did not know of this circumstance till the
danger was past. At last, the hour of deliverance came.
The English, uniformly victorious, compelled the Bur-
mans to submit to such terms as they proposed ; and their
first demand was the release of all English and American
captives. How joyfully these tidings must have sounded,
after such a long, dark season of despondency ! Mrs.
Judson says : " It was on a cool, moonlight evening in
the month of March, 1826, that with hearts filled with
gratitude to God, and overflowing w r ith joy at our pros-
pects, we passed down the Iravvaddy, surrounded by six
or eight golden boats, and accompanied by all we had on
earth. For the first time, for more than a year and a
half, we felt that we were free."
Sir Archibald Campbell, the English commander,
treated them with the utmost respect and attention. A
tent near his own was erected for them while they re-
mained in the camp, and a large gun-boat was provided
to convey them in safety to Rangoon.
It may well be imagined that their friends received
234 GOOD WIVES.
them with great joy, after being entirely ignorant of their
fate for nearly two years. During the latter part of their
captivity, Mrs. Judson had twice been brought to the very
brink of the grave : indeed, once, after their removal from
Oung-pen-la, before they came under the protection of
the English, she was supposed to be quite dead. These
shocks had enfeebled her constitution ; but she was re-
stored to tolerable health, and was able to nurse her feeble
Soon after their return to Rangoon, Mr. Judson was
obliged to leave her for a short time, on business con-
nected with the missionary establishment. In a letter to
her mother, he says : " Our parting was much less pain-
ful than many others had been. We had been preserved
through so many trials and vicissitudes, that a separation
of three or four months, attended with no hazards to either
party, seemed a light thing. We parted, therefore, with
cheerful hearts, confident of a speedy re-union, and in-
dulging fond anticipations of future years of domestic
happiness. In a letter to me dated 14th of September,
my wife wrote, ' For the first time, since we were broken
up at Ava, I feel myself at home. Poor little Maria is
still feeble. I sometimes hope she is getting better ; then
again she declines to her former weakness. When I ask
her where Papa is, she always starts up and points toward
the sea. May God preserve and bless you, and restore
you to your new and old home, is the prayer of your
affectionate Ann.' "
This was the last letter the wanderer received. The
home to which he returned was desolate indeed.
Early in December, Mrs. Judson was attacked with a
violent fever, which continued more or less severe until
she died. During her illness, she expressed regret at
MRS. JUDSON. 235
leaving her schools before other missionaries arrived ;
but her head was much affected, and for the last few days
she said but little. Once she murmured, " The teacher
is long in coming: I must die alone, and leave my little-
one ; but I acquiesce in the will of God. I am not afraid
of death, but I am afraid I shall not be able to bear these
pains. Tell the teacher the disease was most violent,
and I could not write ; tell him how I suffered and died ;
tell him all that you see ; and take care of all things till
he returns." When unable to notice anything else, she
still asked to see her child, and charged the nurse to in-
dulge it in everything, until its father came home. At
eight o'clock on the evening of the 24th of December,
with one exclamation of distress, in the Burman lan-
guage, she expired.
In letters written soon after her decease, Mr. Judson
says : " The news of the death of my beloved wife has
thrown a gloom over all my future prospects, and forever
embittered the recollection of the present journey, in con-
sequence of which I was absent from her dying bed, and
prevented from affording the spiritual comfort her lonely
circumstances peculiarly required : and of contributing to
avert the fatal catastrophe, which has deprived me of the
first of women and the best of wives.
" It affords me some comfort, that she not only con-
sented to my leaving her, but uniformly gave her advice
in favour of the measure, whenever I hesitated concern-
ing my duty. The doctor thinks her last illness was
occasioned by the severe privations, and long protracted
sufferings, she had undergone. With what meekness,
patience, magnanimity and Christian fortitude, did she
endure those sufferings ! But can I wish they had been
less ? Can I wish to rob her crown of a single gem ?
236 GOOD WIVES.
Much she saw and suffered of the evil of this evil world ;
and eminently was she qualified to enjoy the pure and
holy rest into which she has entered. True, she has
been taken from a sphere, in which she was singularly
qualified, by her natural disposition, her winning man-
ners, her devoted zeal, and her perfect acquaintance with
the language, to be extensively serviceable to the cause
of Christ ; true, she has been torn from her husband's
bleeding heart, and from her darling babe ; but infinite
wisdom and love have presided, as ever, in this afflicting
One of the English prisoners, who had been confined
with Mr. Judson, pays the following tribute to the me-
mory of this excellent woman :
" Mrs. Judson was the author of those eloquent and
forcible appeals to the government, which prepared them
by degrees for submission to terms of peace, never ex-
pected by any, who knew the inflexible pride of the
" The overflowing of my grateful feelings, on behalf
of myself and fellow prisoners, compel me to add a tribute
of public thanks to that amiable and humane woman,
who, though living at a distance of two miles from our
prison, without means of conveyance, and very feeble in
health, forgot her own comfort and infirmity, and almost
every day visited us, sought out and administered to our
wants, and contributed in every way to alleviate our
" While the government left us destitute of food, she,
with unwearied perseverance, by some means or other,
obtained for us a constant supply. When our tattered
clothes evinced the extremity of our distress, she w T as
ever ready to replenish our scanty wardrobe. When the
MRS. JUDSON. 237
unfeeling avarice of our keepers confined us inside, or
made our feet fast in the stocks, she, like a ministering
angel, never ceased her applications to the government,
until she was authorized to communicate the grateful
news of our enlargement, or of some respite from our
galling oppressions." ^ # ^ #
In a few short months, good angels carried the little
orphan Maria to the mother by whom she was so fondly
loved. They are placed side by side in that distant land,
under the wide-spreading branches of the Hope-tree.^
Two marbles, erected by the Board of Missions, com-
memorate departed innocence and virtue.
MRS. EXPERIENCE WEST,
WIFE OF REV. DR. SAMUEL WEST
" His head was silvered o'er with age,
And long experience made him sage."
All who reside in that part of Massachusetts called
" the old Colony," remember Father West. He was
born in Yarmouth, in 1730. He remained with his
respectable parents, and laboured on their farm, till he
was past twenty years of age. His extraordinary capa-
city for learning attracted the attention of some intelligent
and benevolent men, by whose assistance he was enabled
to enter Harvard University. His whole soul was so en-
tirely engrossed by study, that he neglected the usual
courtesies of life. When he walked to Cambridge, to be
examined for admission to the college, he took off his
shoes and stockings, and slung them over his shoulder,
to relieve his hot and dusty feet. A scholar who offered
himself in this style, of course excited some merriment ;
but the government soon found that he was not a proper
object for ridicule ; he disputed with them about Greek
and Latin derivations, till they were obliged to yield to
their uncouth pupil.
His talents and erudition gave him a very distinguished
rank in his class. In 1764, he was ordained at New
Bedford, where he remained pastor forty-three years.
He was one of the first men in New England for pro-
MRS. EXPERIENCE WEST. 239
r ound scriptural knowledge ; but he was not a popular
His mind was so absorbed in metaphysics, that he
would continue an argument with his pupils from Mon-
day morning till Saturday night, and on the next Monday
morning take up the thread exactly where he had left it.
No wonder his attention was somewhat abstracted from
his sermons ! It is said that he often preached the same
discourse week after week. Upon one occasion, his
daughter, finding the people were very weary of a ser-
mon about Zaccheus in the tree, turned down the leaf
upon a new text and left the Bible open on his desk, the
next Sabbath : Father West, unconscious of the manoeu-
vre, preached on the passage she had pointed out ; every
sentence of Scripture was so familiar to his memory, that
preparation was unnecessary.
This abstractedness of mind naturally made him very
peculiar in his domestic habits. Innumerable stories are
told of his eccentricities. Among other things, he is
said to have been seen going to mill with the corn on his
own back while he led the horse. Indeed nothing could
exceed his awkwardness in all the common affairs of
life ; he could remember nothing except what was con-
tained in books.
The wonder is that he should ever have married any-
thing but a Hebrew Grammar. Fortunately, his absence
of mind did not extend to matrimony ; and his good luck,
or his discrimination, led him to choose a very intelli-
gent, prudent, amiable woman, who knew how to appre-
ciate his talents and respect his virtues, while her discreet
management supplied all his deficiencies.
He was sensible of her worth, and praised it in his
own odd way. In allusion to her tall stature, he used
240 GOOD WIVES.
often to say to his friends, " I have found by long expe-
rience that it is good to be married."
Doctor West was a zealous whig ; during the revolu-
tionary struggle, he wrote ma v iy powerful articles for the
newspapers. He deciphered the famous letter of Doctor
Church, which exposed to the enemy the particular state
of the American army ; after puzzling over it several
days he suddenly thought of the solution at midnight;
and jumping from his bed, he capered about the room,
exclaiming, like Archimedes, " I have got it ! I have got
In person and manners Doctor West bore a strong
resemblance to the celebrated Doctor Johnson. The epi-
thet of Father, was universally bestowed upon him ; it
probably originated in veneration for his extraordinary
powers of mind, and the honesty, sincerity, and benevo-
lence of his heart.
LADY ARABELLA JOHNSON,
WIFE OF MR. ISAAC JOHNSON.
Although the History of Lady Arabella Johnson is
familiar to every one, it would be wrong to omit all
mention of her well-tried and faithful affection, in a book
intended as a monument to exemplary wives. She was
daughter of Thomas, Earl of Lincoln ; a family which
Mather pronounces " The best of any nobleman then in
The Lady Arabella married Mr. Isaac Johnson, an
intelligent and pious gentleman, conscientiously devoted
to the cause of civil and religious freedom. His heroic
wife entered zealously into his views, although she was
perfectly aware that they must be pursued at the sacrifice
of personal indulgence and worldly splendour.
She left her magnificent home, and cheerfully accom-
panied her husband to the wilderness of New England.
They arrived at Salem, then called Naumkeag, in the
ship Arabella, April, 1630.
Winthrop, in his Journal, praises the conduct of the
ladies on board, at a time when they expected a battle
with a fleet of Dunkirkers : He says, " It was much to
see how cheerful and comfortable all the company ap-
peared : not a woman or child that showed fear, though
all did apprehend the danger to have been great." — ■
Luckily, their fortitude was not put to the severest proof:
for on a near approach the vessels proved to be friends.
242 GOOD WIVES.
Mr. Isaac Johnson is generally considered the founder
of Boston ; and though he was not long spared to the
infant colony, no one will dispute his right to a title,
which he gained by discreet counsels, active services, and
generous funds. His wife cheered him onward in the
arduous path of duty, never complaining of privations, or
mourning over lost indulgences.
Her excellent character and gentle manners gained
universal respect and attachment; and in the records of
those limes, her name is always mentioned with venera-
Her health began to fail soon after her arrival in New
England; and she died in the beginning of September,
1630. Her husband did not sorrow as one without hope,
but as for one for whom this world affords no consolation.
He endeavoured to perform the duties of his station, as
faithfully, if not as cheerfully, as he had done. His
whole deportment spoke Christian resignation, but it was
plain to all who saw him, that his heart was ever with
her who had loved him so well.
God, in his mercy, soon restored them to each other ;
Mr. Johnson survived Lady Arabella, little more than a
month. " He was," says Winthrop, " a holy and wise
man, and died in sweet peace."
WIFE OF HON. JOHN WINTHROP.
Those who do not smile at all expressions of mutual
affection in print, will find pleasure in the following
correspondence between the first Governor of Massachu-
setts and his excellent lady. We are so apt to regard our
forefathers only as men stern and inflexible in their sense
of duty, that it is indeed refreshing to soften the picture
with the mild colouring of domestic happiness. These
letters are peculiarly interesting; because the writers had
been many years married, and had arrived at that sober
meridian of life, when the worldly and the profligate
would make us believe that love is considered as the
mere idle dream of youth.
[The following letter was probably written in 1624, or 1625.]
" Most dear and loving Husband, — I cannot express
my love to you as I desire, in these poor, lifeless lines ;
but I do heartily wish you did see my heart, how true
and faithful it is to you, and how much I do desire to be
always with you, to enjoy the sweet comfort of your
presence, and those helps from you in spiritual and tem-
poral duties, which I am so unfit to perform without you.
It makes me to see the want of you, and wish myself
with you. But I desire we maybe guided by God in all
244 GOOD WIVES
our ways, who is able to direct us for the best ; and so I
will wait upon him with patience, who is all sufficient
for me. Desiring to be remembered in your prayers, I
bid my good husband good night. Farewell.
Your obedient wife,
[In 1627, or 1628.]
" My most sweet Husband, — How dearly welcome
thy kind letter was to me, I am not able to express. The
sweetness of it did much refresh me. What can be more
pleasing to a wife, than to hear of the welfare of her best
beloved, and how he is pleased with her poor endeavours !
I blush to hear myself commended, knowing my own
wants. Bat it is your love that conceives the best, and
makes all things seem better than they are. I wish
that I may be always pleasing to thee, and that those
comforts we have in each other may be daily increased,
as far as they may be pleasing to God. I will use that
speech to thee, that Abigail did to David ; ' I will be a
servant to wash the feet of my lord.' I will do any
service wherein I may please my good husband. I con-
fess I cannot do enough for thee ; but thou art pleased to
accept the will for the deed, and rest contented.
" I have many reasons to make me love thee, whereof
I will name two : first, because thou lovest God ; and
secondly, because thou lovest me. If these two were
wanting, all the rest would be eclipsed. But I must
leave this discourse, and go about my household affairs.
I am a bad housewife to be so long from them ; but I
must needs borrow a little time to talk with thee, my
sweet heart. I hope thy business draws to an end. It
will be but two or three weeks before I see thee, though
M R S . fl N T H It O P . 245
ihey be long ones. God will bring us together in his
good time ; for which I shall pray.
Farewell, my good husband; the Lord keep thee.
Your obedient wife,
11 I did dine at Groton Hall yesterday ; they are in
health, and remember their love. We did wish you there
but that would not bring you, and I could not be merry
" My Good Wife, — Although I wrote to thee last week,
yet, having so fit opportunity, I must needs write to thee
again ; for I do esteem one little sweet, short letter of
thine (such as the last was) to be well worthy two or
three from me.
I began this letter yesterday at two o'clock, thinking
to have been large, but was so taken up by company and
business, as I could get but hither by this morning. It
grieves me that I have not liberty to make better expres-
sion of my love to thee, who art more dear to me than
all earthly things ; but I will endeavour that my prayers
may supply the defect of my pen, which will be of use to
us both, inasmuch as the favour and blessing of God is
better than all things besides.
" I know thou lookest for troubles here, and when one
affliction is over, to meet with another; but remenber our
Saviour tells us ' Be of good comfort, I have overcome
the world." Therefore, my sweet wife, raise up thy
heart, and be not dismayed at the crosses thou meetest
with in family affairs, or otherwise : but still fly to him,
who wiH take up thy burden for thee. Go thou on cheer-
fully, in obedience to his holy will, in the course he hath
set thee. Peace shall come. I commend thee and all
246 GOOD WIVES.
thine to the gracious protection and blessing of the
" Farewell, my good wife. I kiss and love thee with
the kindest affection, and rest,
Thy faithful husband,
" Most loving and good Husband, — I have received
your letters. The true tokens of your love, and care of
my good, now in your absence, as well as when you are
present, make me think that saying false, ' out of sight,
out of mind.' I am sure my heart and thoughts are
always near you, to ' to do you good and not evil all the
days of my life. 7 I rejoice in the expectation of our happy
meeting ; for thy absence has been very long in my con-
ceit, and thy presence much desired. Thy welcome is
always ready ; make haste to entertain it.
" And so I bid my good husband farewell, and commit
him to the Lord,
Your loving and obedient wife,
[After having decided upon coming to New England, Mr. Win-
throp writes thus, in 1629.]
" I must now begin to prepare thee for our long part-
ing, which grows very near. I know not how to deal
with thee by arguments ; for if thou wert as wise as ever
woman was, yet it must needs be a great trial to thee,
and the greater, because I am so dear to thee. That
which I must chiefly look at in thee, for a ground of
contentment, is thy godliness. If now the Lord be thy
God, thou must show it by trusting in him, and resigning
thyself quietly to his good pleasure. The best course is
MRS. \Y 1 N T II R P . 247
to turn all our reasons and discourse into prayers ; for
he only ran help, who is Lord of sea and land, and hath
sole power over life and death. So I kiss my sweet
wile, and rest,
Thy faithful husband,
[February 14, 1620.]
11 My sweet wife, — The opportunity of so fit a mes-
senger, and my deep engagement of affection to thee,
makes me write at this time, though I hope to follow
soon after. The Lord our God hath oft brought us to-
gether with comfort, when we have been long absent ;
and, if it be good for us, he will do so still. When I was
in Ireland, he brought us together again. When I was
sick here at London, he restored us together again. How
many dangers near death hast thou been in thyself! and
yet the Lord hath granted me to enjoy thee still. If he
did not watch over us, we need not go over sea to seek
death, or misery ; we should meet it at every step ; in
every journey. And is not he a God abroad as well as
at home ? Is not his power and providence the same in
New England that it hath been in Old England ?
" My good wife, trust in the Lord. He will be better
to thee than any husband, and will restore thee thy hus-
band with advantage. I bless thee and ours, and rest,
Thine ever, Jo. Winthrop."
" Thou must be my Valentine, for none hath challeng-
" My most dear husband, — I should not now omit any
opportunity of writing to thee, considering I shall not
* The writer was past forty years old.
248 GOOD WIVES.
long have thee to write unto. But, by reason of my un-
fitness at this time, I must entreat thee to accept of a few
lines from me, and not impute it to any want of love,
or neglect of duty to thee, to whom I owe more than I
ever shall be able to express.
" My request now shall be to the Lord to prosper thee
in thy voyage, and enable thee and fit thee for it, and
give all graces and gifts for such employments as he shall
call thee to. I trust God will once more bring us togeth-
er before you go, that we may see each other with glad-
ness, and take a solemn leave, till we, through the good-
ness of our God, shall meet in New England, which will
be a joyful day to us. With my best wishes to God for
thy health and welfare, I take my leave and rest, thy
faithful, obedient wife, Margaret Winthrop."
" Mine own dear Heart, — I must confess thou hast
overcome me with thy exceeding great love, and those
abundant expressions of it in thy sweet letters, which sa-
vour of more than an ordinary spirit of love and piety.
Blessed be the Lord our God, that gives strength and
comfort to thee to undergo this great trial, which I must
confess, would be too heavy for thee, if the Lord did not
put under his hand in so gracious a measure. Let this
experience of his faithfulness to thee in this first trial, be
a ground to establish thy heart to believe and expect his
help in all that may follow. It grieveth me much, that I
want time and freedom of mind to discourse with thee,
my faithful yokefellow, in those things which thy sweet
letters offer me so plentiful occasion for. I beseech the
Lord, I may have liberty to supply it, ere I depart ; for I
cannot thus leave thee. # # #
MRS. WIRTHBOF. 249
11 Mine only best beloved, I beseech the good Lord to
tgin care of thee and thine ; to seal up his loving kind-
i thy BOul ; to fill thee with the sweet comfort of
his presence, that may uphold thee in this time of trial ;
and grant that we may see the faces of each other again
in the time expected. So. loving thee truly, and tender
of thy welfare, studying to bestow thee safe, where I
may have thee again, I leave thee in the arms of our
t Saviour* Ewr thine,
[From the Arabella, riding at the Cowes, he thus writes.]
March 28th, 1630.
k - My faithful and dear wife. — And now I must
once again take my farewell of thee in Old England.
It go ill very near my heart to leave thee. I know to
whom I have committed thee ; even to him who loves
thee much better than any husband can, who, if it be for
his glory, will bring us together again with peace and
comfort. Oh, how it refresheth my heart, to think, that
I shall yet again see thy sweet face in the land of the
living ; — that lovely countenance, that I have so much
delighted in, and beheld with so great content !
" I hope the course we have agreed upon will be some
ease to us both. Mondays and Fridays, at five of the
clock at night, we shall meet in spirit till we meet in per-
son. Yet if all these hopes should fail, blessed be our
God, we are assured that we shall meet one day, in a
better condition. Let that stay and comfort thy heart.
Commend my blessing to my son John. Tell him
I have committed thee and thine to him. Labour to draw
him yet nearer to God, and he will be the surer staff of
comfort to thee.
Thine wheresoever, Jo. Winthrop.
250 GOOD WIVES.
[While the vessel was riding before the Isle of Wight, he again
"My love, my joy, my faithful one, — I suppose
thou didst not expect to have any more letters from me
till the return of our ships ; but so is the good pleasure
of God, that the winds should not serve yet to carry us
hence. I desire to resign myself wholly to his gracious
disposing. Oh, that I had a heart so to do, and to trust
perfectly in him for his assistance in all our ways.
" This is the third letter I have written to thee since I
came to Hampton, in requital of those two I received
from thee, which I do often read with much delight, ap-
prehending so much love and sweet affection in them, as
I am never satisfied with reading, nor can read them
without tears. Oh, my dear heart, I ever held thee in
high esteem, as thy love and goodness hath well deserved ;
but (if it be possible) I shall yet prize thy virtue at a
greater rate, and long more to enjoy thy sweet society
than ever before. I am sure thou art not short of me in
this wish. Let us pray hard, and pray in faith, and our
God, in his good time, will accomplish our desire. Oh,
how loth I am to bid thee farewell ! but, since it must be,
farewell, my sweet love, farewell. I take thee and my
dear children in mine arms, and kiss and embrace you
all, and so leave you with my God.
Thy faithful husband, Jo. Winthrop."
After Mr. Winthrop arrived in New England, his let-
ters to his wife breathe the same affectionate spirit, and
earnest wish for her society.
She followed her husband in about a year. In a letter
to her son, announcing her approaching departure from
England, she writes : " Mr. Wilson is now in London.
He cannot yet persuade his wife to go, for all he hath
MRS. WINTHROP. 253
taken this pains to conic and fetch her. I marvel wha
mettle she is made of."
Q ►vernor Winthropand his lady met in safety, and
lived long to bless the colony to whoso interests they had
►ted tin in- :
In manners, they dignified, bat condescending;
and in character truly uprighl and benevolent. Being
once informed that a pool man stole his wood, the Gover-
nor replied in seeming anger, that he would soon cure
him of Stealing, When the man appeared, he said,
" Friend, It is a severe winter, and I hear you are poor.
Help yourself from my pile till the winter is over." He
afterwards said to his informer, " Have I not put a stop
to his stealing ?"
Governor Winthrop was elected again and again, until
worn out with toils, he died in the sixty-third year of his
age, March, 1649. Though rich when he came to this
country, he died poor.
It is unnecessary here to pay a tribute to his exalted
character ; his name adorns the history with which it is
so honourably associated.
WIFE OF JOHN JAMES REISKE.
J. J. Reiske, a very distinguished German philolo-
gist, was born at Zorbig, a small village in Saxony, in
1716. This colossus of languages was the son of a tan-
ner, who could not afford to do much for his education.
He studied by himself, without method, but with abun-
dance of zeal. His talents and learning soon became
known, and obtained for him an easy access to valuable
libraries ; but a rash temper, and blunt independence of
manner, embroiled him in continual quarrels, and kept
him poor ; so poor, that he knew not sometimes where
to obtain bread. But although, daring his lifetime,
Reiske might have said, with the scholar in the Old
Drama, — " I know not what good my learning doth me,
except that I can call myself a beggar both in Greek and
Latin' 1 — yet he was proudly conscious that permanent
fame would be his sure inheritance ; and his hopes have
not been disappointed. It may seem strange that a man
so remarkably industrious, and possessing such a vast
fund of erudition, should ever have been in need. Bat
in the first place, he wrote books which few people in the
world wished to buy, and still fewer knew how to appre-
ciate ; secondly, his aged mother was supported out of
his hard earnings ; the third, and perhaps the strongest
reason of all, was that he always preferred the claims
of the mind to those of the body, — he could not refrain
M M E . REISKE. 253
from buying an Arabic MS. even when it left him noth-
ing to purchase a dinner.
In 1753 fortune became weary of persecuting this
laborious student; he obtained a moderate, but certain
income, by being appointed rector of the school of St.
In 17GS, he married Earncstine Christiana Miiller, a
virtuous, and intelligent lady, of highly respectable
family. He saw her with her brother at Leipsic, in 1755.
Her modeGty, amiability, and love of learned men, made
a deep impression on his heart ; and he was so fortunate
as to inspire a reciprocal attachment. Various obstacles
delayed their union, and interrupted their epistolary cor-
respondence. Perhaps the story will be best told, in a
translation of his own words : " About the time that the
first part of my German Demosthenes was published, an
unexpected, happy incident occurred ; it was to solicit
the heart and hand of my present beloved wife. The
negotiation was conducted by letters. Personal presence
was unnecessary, for we had known each other nine
years. Adverse accidents, and the calamities of war,
had interrupted our intercourse, and brought me, as I
thought, to the fixed resolution never to marry. But as
unhoped-for unions do come to pass, I believed that the
hand of God might be seen in these things. We both
learned, at the same time, that we had been mistaken
concerning each other, for each of us supposed that the
other had been married ; our old affection was once more
awakened, and I renounced my resolution of remaining
single. God has decreed, as a compensation for my past
griefs, that I should at last be blessed in a happy marriage.
" I endeavour to conduct as a true friend toward my
wife, and to make her destiny as agreeable as I can, after
GOOD WIVE S.
the many crosses she has endured for our union's sake.
Her deportment towards me fills me with thankful happi-
ness, for which I praise our Creator ; I bestow this com-
mendation for the best reasons, and from the sincere
conviction of my heart.
" May God, who brought us together, in a manner sin-
gular and unexpected, still preserve our lives, (as long as
shall suit his wisdom) in undisturbed harmony, constant
health, true love, perfect fidelity to each other, and un-
ceasing endeavours to promote our mutual happiness ;
that our pilgrimage through this wearisome world may
be as quiet and joyful as human imperfection will admit."
Eeiske affixed his wife's portrait to his learned and ex-
cellent edition of the Greek Orators. In the preface to
his first volume, he speaks with much gratitude and
affection, of the assistance she rendered him in comparing
the numerous editions and manuscripts, which he used
to correct the text.
" She is," says he, "a modest and frugal woman : she
loves me, and my literary employments, and is an indus-
trious and skilful assistant. Induced by affection for me,
she applied herself to the study of Greek and Latin under
my tuition. She knew neither of these languages when
we were married ; but she was soon able to lighten the
multifarious and very severe labours to be performed in
this undertaking. The Aldine and Pauline editions she
alone compared ; also the fourth Augustine edition. As
I had taught her the Erasmian pronunciation, she read
first to me the Morellian copy, while I read those in
manuscript. She laboured unweariedly in arranging,
correcting, and preparing my confused copy for the press.
As I deeply feel, and publicly express, my gratitude for
her aid, so I trust that present and future generations may
hold her name in honoured remembrance,"
M M B . i E I • I E . 255
Toward the conclusion of the same preface, he again
recurs to this subject. He observes: " Although I add
or all nething, aa each day suggests, the greater
pari of my work is now prepared and distinctly arranged.
If fate should remove m lay, the web .could be filled
up; and my wife would not permit my reputation to be
impaired, 01 the expectations of subscribers to be disap-
pointed. Eighteen months bad elapsed, after my pro-
spectus was issued, when, beginning to despair of suc-
cess, I determined to return the money advanced by
subscribers ; there were scarcely half a dozen of them.
But my wife interceded. She was aware that her own
comforts would be diminished, or greatly endangered, by
my hazardous undertaking; yet she exhorted me to fulfil
my duty to the republic of letters, and to hope better
things than I was wont to do from the liberality of the
age ; bidding me trust in God, who knew how to smooth
the roughest path, and to bring unlooked for succour in
the time of need. Thus urged, I ventured to risk all.
I purchased manuscripts, hired a printer, and put my
work in press. Meantime a few more subscribers came
in ; but what they contributed was small indeed compared
with the sum I advanced from my own pocket."
The following account is given by Mrs. Reiske, in a
note to the memoirs : " When the work went to the press,
only twenty dollars of the subscription money had come
in. The good man was quite struck down with this, and
seemed to have thrown away all hope. His grief went
to my soul. I comforted him as well as I could. I per-
suaded him to sell my jewels ; to which he at last agreed,
after I had convinced him that a few shining stones were
not necessary to my happiness."
It is evident that the animadversions on the Greek
GOOD WIVE S
Orators was Reiske's favourite work. Other things he
did, because he was obliged to do them for the booksellers ;
a kind of literary employment, which binds down many
an intellectual Gulliver, with the pitiful Lilliputian threads
of immediate profit. Oh, why, why is it that genius
should so often be compelled to sell its glorious birthright
of freedom for a daily mess of pottage !
The learned enthusiast thus speaks of his darling pro-
ject : " I printed rive volumes, which cost me one thou-
sand dollars, of which I have never seen more than one
hundred again. I have, however, enough for five vol-
umes more ; and I should go quietly out of the world, if
I could once see them printed. They are flos ingenii
mei ; (supposing it to be allowed that my genius has any
flowers) and sure I am, that little as their worth is now
known, the time will come when justice will be done
them. Should they come out in my lifetime, it will pay
me for all my trouble ; if they should not, an ever-waking
God will take care that no impious hand seizes on my
work, and makes it his own. Perhaps some honourable,
God-fearing man, may hereafter arise, who will publish
them unadulterated to my posthumous fame, and for the
good of literature. Such is my wish — such are my pray-
ers to God — and he will hear those prayers."
In January, 1770, he writes : " Children I have none ;
but my manuscripts, my fatherless blue coats, are my
children. Of all earthly things they are nearest to my
heart. Will there be found an honest, affectionate heart,
to take care of them after my death ? I have done all I
could ; and as long as I live I w\\\ not cease doing all I
can to help them forward.
" God will take care of my good wife. Her excellent
qualities and attainments are a sufficient security that she
MME. RIESKE. 257
will be provided for. I have taken all the care of her
well-being that it was possible for me to do."
Speaking of this pa-sage in his life, Mrs. Reiske ob-
i Tea : " The melancholy, to which he had been sub-
ject from a child, here breaks out again. As the work
tfold very ill, particularly toward the end of his life, the
disorder went on increasing, and in the end did its work."
It is gratifying to know that wishes which lay so near
the scholar's heart were realized : his beloved manu-
•ipta wore published after his death.
He departed this life on the 14th of August, 1774.
On his death-bed he spoke of his learned works as
mere trifles ; saying his only hope was in the conscious-
ness of having walked uprightly before God.
Reiske wrote his own memoirs with a remarkable de-
gree of candour and simplicitity ; I believe no other
human being ever spoke of himself with such perfect
impartiality. Through all his faults, and all his eccen-
tricities, there runs such a rich vein of integrity, gene-
rosity, frankness, and perfect kindness of heart, that we.
are willing to believe all his wife's testimony in his
favour. She completed his unfinished memoirs, in a
manner which proves strong attachment for him, and
great respect for his memory. She says : " The highest
degree of rectitude, which laid open every fold of his
heart — which never excused in himself what he would
not have excused in his greatest enemy — which, satisfied
of the wickedness of mankind, avoided their falsehood ;
yet wished them every good, and did them every good in
his power — such was the character of my friend. He !
often blamed himself in cases where he deserved no '
blame, and spoke feelingly of his own unworthiness.
" I shall be forgiven for letting all remain, that the
258 GOOD WIVES.
good man has written in my praise. These testimonies
of his kindness were so dear to me, that I could not strike
JReiske provided for her comfort, as far as he was able,
by subscribing to the widow's fund, soon after their mar-
riage. She was highly respected, and she richly de-
served it. Some of her husband's works, published after
his decease, were dedicated to her.
She died of apoplexy, at Kemberg, her native place, in
July, 1798, aged sixty-three.
WIFE OF PCETUS.
Pcetus, a senator of Padua, in the reign of Claudius,
being accused of treason, escaped from Rome, accompa-
nied by his wife, who was devotedly attached to him.
Their place of retreat was discovered, and ruin seemed
inevitable. Arria met this painful crisis with firmness ;
only entreating that she might be permitted to share her
husband's fate. It was not until this request was refused,
that she gave way to tears. When the officers of justice
absolutely forbade her to accompany Pcetus, and when
she found all her efforts to excite compassion entirely
fruitless, then indeed her misery knew no bounds. But
her resolution did not forsake her. She offered a large
sum of money to the owners of a fishing-boat, if they
would take her on board and follow the vessel that con-
tained her husband. Tempted by the promised reward,
the fishermen consented to her proposition, and conveyed
her safely to Rome. The senate, admiring her energy
and strong affection, consented that she should be her
husband's companion in prison. Here she gave way to
no useless expressions of sorrow, but exerted herself to
the utmost to support his spirits, and enliven his solitude,
by her own cheerful fortitude.
When, at last, no hope of pardon remained, she urged
him to avoid the ignominy of public execution by sui-
cide. The advice was in accordance with the blind
260 GOOD WIVES.
courage of those ancient times, when the light of the
Gospel was just dawning, and men had not learned the
duty of perfect resignation to the will of God ; but Pcetus,
reluctant to part from her he loved, and perhaps still
clinging to some faint hope of deliverance, resisted her
entreaties. Finding her arguments ineffectual, she drew
a dagger from her robe, and plunged it in her heart ;
then offering the weapon to her husband, with a gentle
smile, she said, " It pains not, my Poetus."
Existence had now no value for the unhappy man —
with one desperate stroke his spirit followed hers.
WIFE OF JULIUS SABINUS.
Julius Sabinus, a nobleman of Gaul, revolted from
Vespasian, and allowed the troops to address him as Em-
peror. Being defeated in his bold undertaking, he set
fire to his house, and caused the report to be spread that
he had perished in the flames. After this, he hid him-
self in a large cavern of white marble and granite, about
fifteen miles from Rome. Two of his freedmen were
intrusted with the secret : and to their kind attentions the
fugitive was for some time indebted for the most common
necessaries of life. Eponina, believing her husband was
dead, gave herself up to most heart-rending grief. When
the freedmen told Sabinus she had passed three days and
three nights without food, he authorized them to inform
her that he yet lived. These joyful tidings restored her
at once to hope and happiness. She could hardly sum-
mon sufficient prudence to wait for the approach of night,
before she set off for the cavern. The delight which her
husband felt at seeing her, was mingled with anxiety
and fear. He strenuously resisted her wish to remain
with him in the cavern, on the ground that her absence
from home would lead to detection, and involve them in
ruin. This argument had its effect ; Eponina contented
herself with visiting him privately, and providing every-
thing she could for his comfort and amusement. But as
time passed on, and the fate of Sabinus seemed to be for-
262 GOOD WIVES
gotten, she acted with less caution ; often venturing to
stay with him several months, under the pretence of vis-
iting her relations. Always affectionate and cheerful,
she enlivened her husband's dreary abode, and made him
almost contented with his lot.
Twin children were born to them in the cavern; and
the innocent prattle of these little ones was a new source
of pleasure. Thus nine years past away, and their fears
had settled into quiet security. But alas, the frequent
absence of Eponina was observed by her husband's ene-
mies, and her footsteps were traced to the cavern. Sabi-
nus was dragged from his long concealment, and carried
before the enraged emperor. His wife followed, in a
state bordering on despair. She fell at Vespasian's feet,
with her children, and begged for mercy, in a tone in-
spired by deep love and bitter agony ; and the little twins,
affected by their mother's sorrow, joined in her supplica-
tions. The people could not refrain from tears at this
heart-stirring scene ; and even the emperor turned away
his face to conceal his emotions. Then arose the loud
voice of the multitude, " Pardon ! Great Caesar ! Pardon
this wretched and faithful pair !"
Vespasian was angry at this public compassion toward
a rebel, and he ordered Sabinus and his wife to be imme-
diately beheaded. When Eponina found there was no
hope of mercy, she burst into a strain of impassioned elo-
quence. " Know, Vespasian," she exclaimed, " that in
fulfilling my duy, and prolonging the days of your vic-
tim, I have enjoyed, in that dark cavern, years of Jhappi-
ness, which you, upon your splendid throne, will never
The only favour she could obtain, was leave to send
her poor children a lock of their father's hair, her own
E P N I N A . 263
picture, and some papers giving an account of their love
and their misfortunes.
After the death of their parents, the orphans were con-
fined in, a tower on the borders of the Tiber. The affec-
tionate little ones refused all consolation, and absolutely
pined away with grief. Day and night they moaned for
their father and mother, and one morning they were
found dead in each other's arms.
This affecting story has furnished a subject to many
tragic poets. A painting representing the interview with
Vespasian, received a prize from the National Institute
WIFE OF GENERAL LAFAYETTE.
When La Fayette was imprisoned at Olmutz, in 1793,
by the Austrian government, he was informed that he
would never again see anything but the four walls of his
cell. Even the jailers were forbidden to mention his
name, and in the government despatches he was signified
merely by a number. No visiters could gain access to
him; no newspapers were allowed; and it was impossi-
ble for him to gain the least information concerning the
fate of his family.
His wife, for a long time uncertain of his existence,
was immured in the prisons of Paris, daily expecting to
be led to the scaffold, where the greater part of her family
had already suffered. During this alarming crisis, she
spent much of her time in prayer. The death of Robes-
pierre saved her ; but she did not regain her liberty for
some time after. The first use she made of her freedom
was to set off for Vienna, with an American passport,
and under a feigned name.
Here she succeeded in exciting the compassion of
Prince de Rossenberg, by whose means she obtained an
audience with the Emperor. She pleaded strongly for
the release of her husband on the grounds of common
justice and humanity, and urged her strong desire to see
him restored to his family. The emperor said it was out
of his power to grant her request, but he was willing she
MMS. LAFAYETTE. 265
and her two daughters, (then about twelve and fifteen
years of age,) should enliven the prisoner by taking up
their abode with him. This indulgence was gratefully
pted, and the long-separated friends were restored to
Madame La Fayette was deeply affected at the ema-
ciated figure and pale countenance of her husband. She
found him suffering under annoyances much worse than
sly had feared.
She wished to write to the Emperor ; but this was
refused. She made applications for redress in other
quarters, but received no answer, except, " Madame La
Fayette has submitted to share the captivity of her hus-
band. It is her own choice."
At length, her health, already impaired by sixteen
months' imprisonment in Paris, began to give way. She
solicited permission to go to Vienna, to breathe pure air,
and consult a physician. During two months she re-
ceived no reply ; but, at last, she was informed that the
emperor permitted her to go out, upon condition that she
never returned to the prison.
Being desired to signify her choice in writing, she
wrote as follows.
" I considered it a duty to my family and friends to
desire the assistance necessary for my health ; but they
well know it cannot be accepted by me at the price
attached to it. I cannot forget that while we were on
the point of perishing, myself by the tyranny of Robes-
pierre, and my husband by the physical and moral suf-
ferings of captivity, I was not permitted to obtain any
intelligence of him, nor to acquaint him that his children
and myself were yet alive ; and I shall not expose my-
self to the horrors of another separation. Whatever then
may be the state of my health, and the inconveniences of
266 GOOD WIVES.
this abode for my daughters, we will gratefully avail our-
selves of his Imperial Majesty's generosity, in permitting
us to partake this captivity in all its circumstances."
After this, Madame La Fayette, fearful of being sepa-
rated from her husband, refrained from making any
complaint ; although the air of the prison was so foetid,
that the soldiers, who brought food, covered their faces
when they opened the door.
The excellent man to whom our country owes so much,
continued at Olmutz four years.
The unsuccessful efforts to effect his escape, made by
Henry Bollman, a young German, and Francis Huger, a
South Carolinian, (whose father had first received Lafay-
ette when he came to the United States) are too univer-
sally known to be repeated here. Joseph Russell, Esq.,
of Boston, was in Paris during the reign of Robespierre,
and by his aid, the son, George Washington Lafayette,
came to America, where he remained till his family were
After much equivocation and delay, the intervention of
General Bonaparte released the prisoners from Austrian
power. Lafayette resided in Hamburg and Holstein for
a time, and then returned to France, after an absence of
His wife belonged to the noble family of Noailles. Her
character was patient, gentle, and affectionate; and she
was, of course, much beloved by her husband and chil-
During her various imprisonments, surrounded by an
accumulation of horrors, her health received a shock,
from which it never recovered. She died in 1807.
COUNTE SS SEGUR.
Count Segctr, the elder, pays the following tribute to
the memory of his wife : " What comfort and support
she was to me under my greatest calamities ! She was
my secretary, and wrote the whole of my Universal His-
tory under my dictation ; for I was then almost blind.
There was not a single disagreement between us upon
subjects of literature and politics, not the slightest domes-
tic cloud, not even a difference of opinion concerning the
details of household management.
" The loss of such a friend, such a companion, such
an assistant, is not to be estimated — It could not be en-
dured if much of life were left for vain regrets. "
WIFE OF MARIE CHAMANS LAVALETTE.
Marriages made by the will of a third person are
not usually happy ; for people rarely love those whom
their relatives are determined they shall love. Lavalette
seems to have been an exception to this general rule.
Bonaparte, wishing to reward the bravery of his aid-de-
camp, and being at that time somewhat restricted in his
power, resolved that he should marry a niece of Jose-
phine. " I cannot make you a major," said he, " I must
therefore give you a wife. You shall marry Emilie
Beauharnais. She is very handsome, and well educated."
Lavalette objected that he had no fortune — that he was
going immediately to Africa — that he might be killed —
that perhaps the young lady would not fancy him — But
the conqueror of Italy was not in the habit of supposing
the opinions and feelings of others could possibly be
obstructions in the way of his wishes. " Killed, you
certainly may be," he replied ; " but she will ,then be
the widow of one of my officers — she will have a pen-
sion — and may marry again advantageously. The wed-
ding shall take place in eight days. I will allow you a
fortnight for the honey-moon. You must then come and
join us at Toulon. Come T come, the thing is all settled.
Tell the coachman to drive home."
Lavalette smiled to see how readily he was disposed
of, apparently upon the supposition that he had no right
INI ME. LAVALETTE
to feci any interest in the matter. Foreigners accuse us
of dancing as if we did it by act of the legislature; but
this marrying per order is a more serious affair.
Lavalette agreed to visit the young lady, mentally
reserving a degree of freedom, in case the union should
not he mutually agreeable. The following is his own
oanf of the ew.
M In the evening 1 wont to see Madame Bonaparte.
She knew what was going forward, and was kind enough
to show some satisfaction, and call me her nephew.
4 To-morrow,* she said, ' we shall go to St. Germains — I
will introduce you to my niece : you will be delighted
with her — she is a charming girl.' Accordingly, next
day, the Gen. Madame Bonaparte, Eugene, and I, went
in an op^n carriage to St. Germains, and stopped at
Madame Campan's. The visit was a great event at the
boarding-school ; all the young girls were at the windows,
in the parlours, or in the court-yard, for they had obtained
a holiday. We soon entered the gardens. Among the
forty young ladies I anxiously sought for her who was
to be my wife. Her cousin, Hortense, led her to us, that
she might salute the General and embrace her aunt. She
was, in truth, the prettiest of them all. Her stature was
tall, and most gracefully elegant, her features were charm-
ing, and the glow of her beautiful complexion was height-
ened by her confusion. Her bashfulness was so great,
that the General could not help laughing at her, but he
went no further. It was decided that we should break-
fast in the garden. In the meantime I felt extremely
uneasy. Would she like me ? Would she obey without
reluctance ? This abrupt marriage, and this speedy de-
parture grieved me. When we got up and the circle was
broken, I begged Eugene to conduct his cousin into a
270 GOOD WIVES.
solitary walk. I joined them, and he left us ; I then
entered on the delicate subject. I made no secret of my
birth, or of my want of fortune ; and added — ' I possess
nothing in the world but my sword, and the good will of
the General — and I must leave you in a fortnight. Open
your heart to me. I feel disposed to love you with all
my soul — but that is not sufficient. If this marriage
does not please you, repose a full confidence in me ; it
will not be difficult to find a pretext to break it off — I
shall depart : you will not be tormented, for I will keep
your secret.' While I was speaking, she kept her eyes
fixed on the ground ; her only answer was a smile, and
she gave me the nosegay she held in her hand ; I em-
braced her. We returned slowly to the company, and
eight days afterwards went to the municipality. The
following day, a poor priest, who had not taken the oaths,
married us in a small convent of the Conception, in the
Rue St. Honore. This was in some manner forbidden,
but Emilie set a great importance on that point: her
piety was gentle and sincere.."
Immediately after the marriage, Count Lavalette left
his bride, in order to join the expedition to Egypt.
At the end of eighteen months he returned ; and when
he received orders again to depart for Saxony, he took
Madame Lavalette with him. The people of North Ger-
many had great prejudices against Frenchwomen ; and
were therefore surprised when they saw a young and
beautiful lady so modestly dressed, and timid even to
bashfulness. Daring her residence at the Court of Ber-
lin she excited great admiration.
In France, honours were of course heaped upon them
during the prosperity of Bonaparte. Grateful for these
favours, and warmly attached to the Emperor's person,
M ME. LAV ALETTE. 271
Count Lavalclte welcomed Napoleon on his return from
Elba. In the counter revolution, which immediately
ensued, this became a crime ; and he was imprisoned.
The state of Madame Lavalette's health made this
affliction peculiarly distressing; she was expressly for-
bi Iden to visit her basband. A few months after he was
arras we birth to a little son, which died in a
few hours. The reverse of fortune that had fallen upon
all her friends, and the sad fate of her husband, produced
such a state of nervous excitement, that she wept for her
lost infant with delirious and inconsolable grief.
She was scarcely restored to a tolerable degree of
raininess, when it became necessary to inform her that
ace of death had been passed upon Lavalette. This
aroused all her energy. Their first meeting in prison
'oo much for her ; but she recovered herself
sufficiently to consult on all possible means of saving him.
For il weeks her petitions to the king and Duch-
ess D'Angouleme were incessant. When driven from
one door of the palace, she flew to another ; and when
again repulsed, she sat down on the stone steps in the court-
yard, pale and weary, watching for some means to gain
admission. Those, who passed by, knew her and pitied
her ; but they did not dare to show their commiseration.
At last, it became too evident that there was no hope
of royal mercy ; only forty-eight hours remained between
the prisoner and death. His wife came to make her
accustomed daily visit. When they were alone, she said,
" I have formed a plan of escape, and provided a place
of refuge for you. At eight o'clock to-morrow evening,
you must go out in my dress ; I will remain. You shall
step into my sedan chair. At the corner of the Rue de
St. Peres you will find M. Baudus with a cabriolet ; he
272 GOOD WIVES.
will guide you to a retreat where you will be safe till you
can leave France."
Lavalette thought the scheme wild and hazardous ; but
she silenced all objections by saying, " You must not
reject my plan. If you die, I die. I know it will suc-
ceed. I feel that God supports me."
The next day she was again at the prison. " Our
project must be executed to-night," said she ; " for to-
morrow, alas, it will be too late. Ever since I left you,
I have been making arrangements to prevent any disaster.
Keep up your spirits, for you will need them. As for
me, I feel that I have courage for four and twenty hours,
and not a moment longer ; for I am exhausted with fa-
The eventful hour came. Madame Lavalette with her
young daughter Josephine, paid what was supposed to be
a farewell visit to the prisoner. The disguise was as-
sumed. Madame Lavalette was half an inch taller than
her husband ; but in female attire he appeared about her
height. She charged him to hold his handkerchief to
his eyes, to walk slowly and wearily, as she had been
accustomed to do, — to stoop at the door, to avoid breaking
the plumes of his bonnet, which might lead to delay and
detection, — &c, &c. The trying moment came for them
to part. " Now God's will be done, my dear," she said.
" Keep very calm. Let me feel your pulse. Very well.
Feel of mine. Does it indicate the slightest emotion ?"
Poor woman ! It throbbed high with fever ; but she
was unconscious of it.
" We must not give way to our feelings," she added;
" for that will ruin all." Lavalette put his marriage- ring
on her finger, under the pretence that it might lead to
detection, but in reality because he feared he should never
see her more.
M M E . LAVALETTE. 273
The turnkey was heard, and they exchanged looks,
without daring to embrace. Madame Lavalette retired
behind a screen, and her husband went out. He was
obliged to pass through a passage, two rooms, and a court,
under the eyes of seven turnkeys and twenty soldiers.
These perils were all passed in safety ; but two minutes
elapsed before the sedan-chair arrived ; but those two
minutes seemed like eternity. Fortunately, the eabrioiet
was brought nearer to the prison than had been at first
intended J for the trick was discovered before many
minutes. Lavalette had scarcely passed the outer door
of the prison when the jailer went to examine his room ;
hearing a noise behind the screen, he went away : but
in five minutes he returned, and took a fancy to peep
behind the screen. Madame Lavalette tried to hold him
by the coat, but he tore himself away so violently that he
left a part of it in her hand. A hue and cry was imme-
The sedan chair was easily overtaken, but it contained
only Josephine Lavalette. Her father, in the meantime,
was safely concealed in a garret, where he could hear
the criers pronouncing heavy penalties upon any one
who harboured him. After remaining in this conceal-
ment about twenty days, he at last, by the assistance of
Sir Robert Wilson, escaped to Belgium, in the disguise
of an English officer. On his way, he passed by his
own scaffold, and through the midst of soldiers, who were
on the alert to seize him.
As the school, where Josephine was placed, was under
the protection of the Duchess D'Angouleme, the poor
child experienced a good deal of persecution for her part
in this affair ; and several of the parents threatened to
take away their children if she were suffered to remain.
So powerful and so unprincipled is self-interest !
274 GOOD WIVES.
The populace, always rejoicing in the defeat of the
Bourbons, did not conceal their delight. Madame La-
valette was lauded to the skies. The market-women of
Paris talked of her continually ; and at the theatre the
slightest allusions were received with enthusiasm.
But she, poor lady, was in hands little inclined to deal
mercifully. She remained in prison six weeks, treated
with great severity, loaded with abuse, and terrified by
the assurance that her husband would be immediately
re-taken. No letter was allowed to cross the threshold
nor could her friends find any means to communicate
with her. At every noise, she imagined they were bring-
ing the prisoner back. Five and twenty days and nights
she passed without sleep. This feverish anxiety, acting
upon health already enfeebled, produced insanity, from
which she suffered more or less during twelve years.
Lavalette left France in January, 1816 ; in 1822 Louis
18th granted him letters of pardon, and he returned to
his native country. A host of friends welcomed him ;
but his excellent and devoted wife did not know him,
whom she had sacrificed her reason to save !
This blow almost overwhelmed her husband with des-
pair. He gave up the world, and lived in perfect soli-
tude, devoting his whole time and attention to her.
Madame Lavalette had intervals of rationality, during
which she was perfectly conscious of her liability to men-
tal derangement. This made her urge an early marriage
for her daughter ; and Josephine was united to a man of
worth and talent, some time before her father returned.
The soothing attentions and unremitting kindness of a
grateful husband produced a salutary effect upon the in-
Lavalette closes his memoirs by saying : " A deep me-
■ MB. LAVALETTE. 275
lancholy frequently throws her into fits of abstraction ;
but she ia always equally mild, amiable, and good. We
our Bummers in a retired country house, where she
seemd to enjoy herself."
If' watchful love could repay the debt he owed, it was
amply repaid. To the day of his death he cherished her
oe anxious care a mother bestows upon her
COUNTESS OF NITHSDALE.
The Earl of Nithsdale was condemned to be beheaded
for his efforts to place the Pretender on the British throne,
in 1711. He would unquestionably have shared the fate
of the Earl of Derwent, had he not been rescued by the
affection and ingenuity of his wife.
The day before his intended execution she distributed
money very freely among the jailers, who were of course
disposed to be as courteous as possible. Having obtained
permission to bring several of her friends to bid him fare-
well, she persuaded one lady, who was tall and robust, to
leave her clothes, and assume another dress, which she
had prepared. When this lady came in, she affected to
weep ; but when she went out she was perfectly calm.
This was done that the Earl of Nithsdale might more
completely personate her, and disguise his own features,
by holding a handkerchief to his face. Besides this the
Countess had taken the precaution to paint his eye-brows
and cheeks, and cover his head with artificial hair. The
sentinel, suspecting no mischief, officiously opened the
doors for his prisoner to depart. The Countess followed
her disguised husband closely, in order to prevent the
jailers from taking particular observation of his gait. At
this critical moment, she preserved a remarkable degree
of calmness and presence of mind. As she walked on,
she urged the pretended lady to hasten her servant in
COUNTESS OF NITHSDALE. 277
coming for her, because she was determined to present a
petition to the king that night, as the last means of sav-
ing her husband's life.
Some friends who were in readiness outside of the
Tower, received the fugitive, and conveyed him to a place
of safety. After being concealed a few days in London,
he assumed the livery of the Venetian ambassador, and
1 with his retinue to Calais; from whence he tra-
velled to Eome, where he resided till his death, in 1774.
WIFE OF DR. SPURZHEIM.
Doct. Spitrzheim, who has excited a deeper and more
universal interest among us, than was ever before accord-
ed to an individual we had known so recently, found in
domestic life that perfect happiness, which his virtues de-
served. He married a widow in Paris, who had three
daughters. The motive which dictated his choice was
very characteristic ; he believed she would make a good
wife, because her character had been perfected by suffer-
ing. His hopes were fully realized. She was meek,
unassuming, affectionate and intelligent. She sympa-
thized in her husband's pursuits, and aided him by her
uncommon skill in drawing. Many of the illustrations
he used in his lectures, were the productions of her pencil.
Her heart was entirely devoted to him, and her watchful
care was ever with him, a guardian angel protecting his
health and happiness. It was a common observation how
remarkably they were adapted to each other. Both of
them possessed, in an eminent degree, that beautiful kind
of politeness, which is in reality genuine goodness of
heart, clothed in its appropriate simplicity of manner.
While in this country, Doctor Spurzheim often alluded
to her constant affection, and unremitting attention to his
welfare. He was troubled with a disease of the heart,
and an intermitting pulse, which he ascribed to the grief
occasioned by her death.
MME, SPURZHEIM. 279
In his last illness, he said, " This would not have been
if my wife had been alive, to take care of me, when I
came home cold and fatigued from my lectures. "
He died among strangers ; but those strangers were
his friends ; and he received every attention which re-
spect and sympathy could suggest.
LADY COLLING WOOD.
Lokd Collingwood, the friend and companion of Nel-
son, resembled the great naval hero in courage and firm-
ness, but was totally unlike him in his domestic charac-
ter. His heart was fully satisfied in the affections of his
wife and children. In the midst of his fame, his fondest
hope was to be soon released from public duties, and
allowed to indulge in the tranquil enjoyments of his
happy home. The quiet haven he so much desired was
never attained. Almost his whole life was passed on the
seas; and he died just as his long indulged anticipations
seemed about to be realized. His letters to his daughters
are full of practical wisdom, and indicate great warmth
of parental tenderness. He evidently regarded his wife
with mingled love and reverence. In one of his letters
to his children, he says, " Let all your words and all your
actions mark you gentle. I never knew your mother, —
your dear, your good mother, — say a harsh, or a hasty
thing, to any person in my life. Endeavour to imitate
WIFE OF JOHN CHRISTOPHER FREDERIC SCHILLER.
Frederic Schiller was one of those few master-
spirits, which in the lapse of ages now and then arise, to
impart their own activity to human thought, and shed
fresh light upon the world.
He himself followed the sublime advice he gave to
artists ; he " imprinted ideal beauty on all sensible and
spiritual forms, and cast it silently into everlasting time."
He was born November, 1759, at Marbach, a small
town in Wiirtemberg. His father was first a surgeon,
afterward an officer in the army ; his mother was of
humble birth, but very intelligent, and fond of poetry ;
both of his parents were affectionate, sincere, and consci-
The reigning Duke, from respect to the father's worth,
offered to place the son at his school in Stuttgard, for the
purpose of studying law. The proposition w T as unwel-
come to the boy ; who, sanctioned by his parents, had
fixed his heart upon the ministry ; but fear of offending
the prince induced a reluctant acquiescence in his plan.
At this seminary, all the influences around Frederic
were uncongenial to his free and ardent nature. His ge-
nius fettered and cramped by the exact machinery of the
school, — governed by those, whose minds fitted them to
be his servants, — impatient of bondage, and struggling
for some little portion of intellectual liberty, — he reminds
us of Pegasus chained to the plough, flattering his wings,
and looking eagerly to the far blue sky, but kept down
upon the earth by the dull pace of the black ox, to which
he was fastened.
This thraldom was ended in his twenty-third year by
his escape from Stuttgard, " empty in purse and hope."
For a time, he wrestled with poverty and discourage-
ment ; but he wrestled with energy that is sure to over-
come ; and he at last received his share of the patronage
so liberally bestowed on German talent. A concurrence
of circumstances led him to become a dramatic author. ;
but he afterward proved that he was capable of achieving
greatness in any path to which he directed, his attention.
His first play, called the Robbers, produced a prodi-
gious sensation throughout Germany; but Wallenstein,
written some years after, is deemed his greatest and most
highly finished production. The people were proud of
their poet, and showed it with a ready and earnest enthu-
siasm, that must have gone to his heart. When his
Maid of Orleans was first represented on the stage at
Leipzig, at the close of the first act, there arose on all
sides a shout of, " Long live Frederic Schiller !" accom-
panied by the sound of trumpets and other military
At the conclusion, the spectators crowded round the
door ; when the poet appeared, they uncovered their
heads, and respectfully opened an avenue for him to
pass ; while many held up their children and exclaimed,
" That is he !"
Schiller was an unpretending, bashful man ; his prin-
ciples and his feelings alike forbade him to assume any
superiority over his fellow-creatures ; but he must have
been more than human, if he were not gratified by such
I i: i s,'ii:ll I 1 . 283
a tribttte of respect, bursting spontaneously from so many
honest and admiring hearts.
It is impossible to give, in this volume, Bticta a sketch
ofthi ' man aa his merit and his fame deserve. Of
his numerous and celebrated works we pass by the greater
part, without erven mentioning the titles ; and glance over
tho events of his life with equal rapidity. His whole
soul was in literatim ; and therefore his history consists
principally in progressive st of intellectual improve-
ment, and extending reputation.
In a notice of Wieland, he has already been mentioned
as one of the stars in the brilliant constellation at Wei-
max. His excellent parents, who, at one time, had feared
that genius would ruin his prosperity, lived to enjoy the
fame he so well deserved.
In 17S0 ho was appointed by the Duchess Amelia,
Professor of History, at the University of Jena. In the
February following he married Miss Lengefield, with
whom he became acquainted at Rudolstadt, a year or
two before. She was not his first love ; he had pre-
viously declared an attachment for the daughter of the
Kammerath Schwann, a bookseller at Manheim : we are
not informed whether this connexion was relinquished
from want of constancy, or because his affection was not
reciprocated. Certain it is that Schiller's heart never
ceased to yearn for domestic happiness. " To be united
with a person," said he, " that shares our joys and our
sorrows, that responds to our feelings, that moulds her-
self so pliantly, so closely to our humours ; reposing on
her calm and warm affection, to relax our spirit from a
thousand distractions, a thousand wild wishes and tumul-
tuous passions ; to dream away all the bitterness of for-
284 GOOD WIVES.
tune, in the bosom of domestic enjoyment; this is the
true delight of life."
Some time after his marriage, he writes : " Life is quite
a different thing by the side of a beloved wife, than so
forsaken and alone ; even in summer. Beautiful Na-
ture ! I now for the first time fully enjoy it, live in it.
The world again clothes itself around me in poetic forms;
old feelings are again awakening in my breast. What a
life I am leading here ! I look with a glad mind around
me ; my heart finds a perennial contentment without it ;
my spirit so fine, so refreshing a nourishment. My ex-
istence is settled in harmonious composure ; not strained
and impassioned, but peaceful and clear. I look to my
future destiny with a cheerful heart. Now when stand-
ing at the wished-for goal, I wonder with myself how it
has all happened, so far beyond my expectations. Fate
has conquered the difficulties for me ; it has, I may say,
forced me to the mark. From the future I expect every-
thing. A few years and I shall live in the full enjoy-
ment of my spirit ; nay, I think my very youth will be
renewed ; an inward poetic life will give it me again."
Of Schiller's wife, but little has been published. We
only know that Gothe, who had known her from child-
hood, speaks of her with respect and regard ; and that
she inspired the author of Wallenstein with a deep and
abiding passion ; but surely this is praise enough for
When Gothe and Schiller were first introduced, their
characters acted upon each other with repelling power.'
Totally unlike in their habits of thought, and wedded to
different schools of philosophy, there seemed to be no
point where they could meet in harmony. This gradu-
ally gave place to hearty admiration of each other ; and
MME. SCHILLER. 235
without sacrificing their respective independence of sen-
timent and opinion, they became warm friends.
Gothe, describing the progress of their acquaintance,
Bays, " The first step was now taken ; Schiller's attractive
powei was great ; he kept all close to him that came
within his reach. His wife, whom I had loved and val-
ued since her childhood, did her part to strengthen our
reciprocal intelligence ; all friends, on both sides, rejoiced
A notice of Schiller is introduced in this volume merely
to show how mistaken is the idea that genius unfits peo-
ple for the calm routine of domestic happiness : when
this greatest of all earthly blessings is changed to a curse,
the fault is in the heart, not in the mind.
Schiller possessed genius in its loftiest attributes — and
he had the temperament that usually accompanies that
heavenly gift. Earnest, impetuous — restless in a world
too narrow for his spirit — with a mind exulting in the
grandeur of its own vast conceptions, yet struggling for a
more perfect glimpse of that mysterious beauty, which
God has veiled in clouds — living among magnificent
visions of thought, and questioning them with fevered
earnestness of all that had past, and of all that should
come to the soul of man — such was Frederic Schiller !
The cares of real life were a heavy burden to him.
He says, " My mind is drawn different ways ; I fall
headlong out of my ideal world, if a hole in my stocking
remind me of the actual world.''
The customs of society were fetters upon his intellec-
tual freedom ; hence he was always constrained and ill
at ease in parties.
To enjoy the " frenzy" of the poet with more intense
consciousness, he was in the habit of sitting up all night,
286 GOOD WIVES.
in a garden-house, with a flask of Rhenish or Cham-
paign, or a cup of strong coffee, beside hirn, to refresh
" The neighbours often used to hear him declaiming
earnestly in the silence of the night ; and whoever watched
him on such occasions, (a thing easily done from the
heights on the opposite side of the dell) might see him
now speaking aloud, and walking swiftly to and fro in
his chamber, then suddenly throwing himself down in
his chair and writing."
Yet this man of vivid and restless genius loved his
family with deep and constant love. His best happiness
was in his home. The great world had no charms for
him; holier sympathies nestled around his heart, and
brighter visions thronged his mind. The theatre was the
only public place he visited ; and this not for amusement,
but for the sake of improvement in the dramatic art.
In his own family, or among select friends, he was
affectionate, eloquent, and sportive as a little child. He
had all the frankness and simplicity which characterize
the Germans ; and who can say how much of intellec-
tual greatness may be traced to these qualities ? Truth
Such a man as Schiller could not live to be old. His
ardent spirit burned away its mortal shrine. Incessant
literary toil, and the unquietness of a mind eager to pen-
etrate into all the arcana of the universe, brought on phy-
sical disease. In 1791, his physicians ordered him to
abstain from intellectual efforts if he valued life. To one
of his industrious habits, with a cherished family depend-
ing on his exertions, it was difficult to obey this com-
The Duke of Holstein and Count Von Schimmelmann,
MME. SCHILLER. 287
being informed of his ill health, conferred a pension of a
thousand crowns, for three years ; upon the stipulation
that he should be careful of himself, and use every means
The invalid was partially restored, and returned with
fresh vigour to his beloved occupations; in the glowing
light of his imaginary world, weakness and suffering
were forgotten. But the arrow of death had entered;
the body sunk under its unequal conflict with the soul.
He died in the spring of 1805, aged forty-five years
and some months. A widow, two sons, and two daugh-
ters survived him. At his request his funeral was pri-
vate and unostentatious. During his last illness, physical
suffering produced delirium ; but this passed away ; and
he was enabled to take a solemn, tranquil farewell of the
family, who were watching over him with anxious love.
Being asked how he felt, a few hours before his decease,
he answered, " Calmer, and calmer." After that, he
sank into a slumber; from which he awoke, looked up
brightly, and said, " Many things are growing clear to
me •/" Then a gentle sleep came over him, which grad-
ually deepened into eternal silence.
His mighty spirit has learned the history of its own
The ancients believed that when a remarkably good wife died,
Proserpine sent a procession of the purest and best spirits to wel-
come her to another world, and strew the way to Elysium with
LIST OF BOOKS REFERRED TO.
Thatcher's Military Journal.
Pulteney's Sketches of the Progress of Botany in England.
Lives of Painters and Sculptors, by Allan Cunningham.
Bayle's Biographical Dictionary.
Memoirs of Lord Collingwood.
Miss Akin's Court of King James.
Memoirs of Lady Fanshawe, written hy herself.
Memoirs of Mrs. Fletcher, wife of Rev. John Fletcher.
Akin's Universal Biography.
Brown's Life of Howard.
Silliman's Scientific Journal.
Memoirs of Col. John Hutchinson, by his widow.
Memoirs of Mrs. Judson, by Rev. J. D. Knowles.
Lavater's Private Journal.
Memoirs of Lavalette.
Count Segur's Anecdotes of Frederic.
Bower's Life of Luther.
Tischer's Life of Luther.
Luther's Table Talk.
Memoirs of Oberlin, Edited by Rev. H. Ware, jr.
Johann Jacob Reiskens, von ihm selbst aufgesetzte Lebensbes-
Oratorum Graecorum. Volumen Primum. Edidit J. J. Reiske.
Funeral Oration on Dr. Spurzheim, by Dr. Follen.
Taylor's Historic Survey of German Poetry.
Winthrop's History of N. England, Edited by Jas. Savage, Esq.
Life of Frederic Schiller.